Edition Maldives - EN

Economy

Summary of Maldives Business Statistics

08 May 2017 - 20:12

Ain

Travel enthusiast and market analyst, committed in promoting positive community growth.

It is evident that most industries in Maldives has experienced a boom. The construction industry is on the rise as the demand for real estate increases, especially in the Male’ region. Numerous apartment buildings are being built and sold at expensive rates.

Moreover, with more resorts being built every year, the number of tourists that visits are also on the rise. According to the ‘Statistical pocket book of Maldives 2016’, published by the National Bureau of Statistics, the total tourist arrivals had increased by 2.4%. As of 2015, the total number of Resorts including marina was 115.

Moving onto the trade sector, statistics show that the total number of imports had an increase of 10.1% and total exports had a decrease of 26.1% from 2015 to 2016.

Moreover, the preliminary statistics published in Quarterly National Accounts – Q2-2016 shows the following data in economic activity;

·  Wholesale and retail trade had increased from 4.5% in Q4-2015 to 9% in Q2-2016.

·  Construction increased from -2.3% in Q4-2015 to 6.6% in Q2-2016.

·  Tourism decreased significantly from 2.9% in Q4-2015 to -18.8% in Q2-2016.

Now let’s look at the Business Survey Conducted by Maldives Monetary Authority;

They conducted a business survey for the 4th Quarter of 2016. According to their report, they selected 143 large organizations spanning from construction and tourism to whole sale and retail. Moreover, their respondents were senior or top management personnel’s and they had a response rate of 62%, from 88 enterprises.

Summarizing their report;

Businesses in all 4 sectors had experienced an increase in the business activity and is predicted to increase in the first quarter of 2017.

·  Level of employment

No change in the Q4-2016, but is expected to increase for construction, wholesale and retail in Q1-2017

·  Business Cost

Labor cost: No change in Q4-2016 and predicted there will be no change in Q1-2017

Input cost: Majority in the construction, wholesale and retail reported an increase in Q4-2016 and no change in most tourism related businesses. Moreover, cost is expected to increase in Q1-2017 for Tourism, wholesale and retail businesses while it is predicted to remain unchanged for construction businesses.

·  Prices

It seems that majority of the businesses in the construction and tourism sector had increased their prices while others reported no change in Q4-2016. Furthermore, prices in the construction and tourism sector is expected to increase in Q1-2017 but other sectors expects no change.


Analysis

If you are looking to start an investment in the tourism industry, it is probably better to address these statistics before investing.

In reference to the tourism sector, although tourist arrival has increased, there is a decline in tourist bed nights, which is a clear indication of the decrease in economic activity. However, as the political environment has considerably stabilized in Maldives, tourism will most likely increase with the arrival of more tourists, especially with the coming winter season.

The construction industry is the fastest growing business in Maldives. As demand for housing needs upsurges, owning an apartment is the new trend. Buying an apartment is not just for the rich anymore. Even the middle-class man can buy an apartment. Although overall debt is on the rise, banks are enjoying the profits associated with the increasing loan amounts throughout Maldives.

As more convenient methods of taking loan for housing via banks, finance leasing companies and even the pension fund has become available, more are opting to purchase apartments even before the building foundation is placed.

With the limitation and high costs associated with renting apartments in the Male’ region, buying an apartment is the best long term choice according to the perception of most Maldivians.

Trade sector is rising significantly as demand for quality products are on the rise. Maldivians thrive in the diversity of imported products. As local production is painfully limited, the demand for imported products are always increasing, especially when it comes to food, motorbikes and technology related products.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the total number of registered motorcycles had increased from 56,503 in 2014 to 66,527 in 2015.

Undeniably, the Maldivian economy is expanding at an alarming rate, although competition is increasing considerably. While revenue generated per enterprise maybe less as more competitors roll in, the Maldivian economy is benefiting from the infiltration of more and more businesses.

GDP per capita has increased significantly over the years. With more businesses coming in, the number of employment opportunities are also rising.


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