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Maldives

 
   

Executive Summary
The Republic of Maldives is a country which comprises numerous islands and atolls; India’s Lakshadweep and Sri Lanka are its neighbours. After having been under the British protectorate, the Maldives became independent in 1965, turning to a republic from a previous sultanate form of government.

The Maldives cover a total area of 115 sq km and is the smallest Asian country in terms of the territory and its population. Malé is the capital of the Maldives, Dhivehi is its official language. The Maldives has adopted a presidential republic political model, where the President of the country is the head of the government. Legislative power belongs to a unicameral parliament.

In the early ages the Arabs who dominated the Indian Ocean trade routes called the Maldives – the Money Isles, as they provided a big number of very valuable cowry shells. Today tourism is the largest economic sector of the Maldives that accounts almost 30% of the GDP; fishing industry is the second largest economic sector. Agricultural development does not have a big potential for development due to limited territories with cultivable soul, which together with boat building and handicrafts account approximately 8% of the GDP. Most food products and other goods are imported.

The Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR) is the national currency.

Geography
The Maldives is a very flat country, its highest point is the lowest in the world, reaching only 2.3 metres above the sea level. The phenomenon of ocean level rise caused by global warming represents a significant threat for existence of the Maldives. The country aims to become carbon-neutral in the following ten years, using exclusively solar and wind energy.

Coral reefs of the Maldives protect the islands from storms and high waves. However, the Maldives may be vulnerable to tsunami. The Indian Ocean plays a significant role in determining a hot tropical climate which sometimes is cooled by sea breezes. The Maldives do not have a big variety of vegetation, though the country’s marine life is extremely rich and diversified.

Map, Flag and Coat of Arm


Types of Company

Private Company Limited by Shares

At least two and a maximum of 50 shareholders may establish this type of company which is not allowed to offer its shares to the general public. At least two directors must be assigned to handle a company’s management. At least one director should be resident in Maldives, and all directors must be at least sixteen years old. A company must have a secretary. Annual accounts should be submitted.

Public Company Limited by Shares
At least ten shareholders may incorporate a public company. This company may offer its shares to the general public. At least five directors must form a Board of Directors who directly participate in a company’s management. A secretary must be assigned.

Taxation

Personal

There is no income or sales tax in the Maldives, but the growing GDP and overall life level makes government discuss a probable income tax introduction in the future. Every boat and motor vehicle must have an appropriate license, by paying a license fee to the government.

Corporate
Bank profit tax is the only levied direct tax and is charged at 25% on the taxable income. It constitutes approximately 2% of the annual revenue derived from taxation. Major indirect taxes are import duty and tourism tax. Import duty is levied on imported goods. It is charged at varying rates from 5% to 200%. Import duty brings approximately 25% of the government annual revenue from taxation. Tourist tax is levied at a flat rate on every night a tourist spends in the Maldives. Tourist tax brings around 15% of the overall income derived from taxation on the annual basis. Lease and rentals of resorts as well as state owned enterprises are other sources of the government revenues.

 
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