Welcome to the inaugural edition of our weekly briefing, a concise roundup of the business news from the past week.
A record MVR85 million (US$5.5 million) was collected as property zakat (annual alms for the poor obligatory upon Muslims) this year, Islamic Minister Dr Ahmed Zahir Ali revealed. The funds are being distributed nationwide to more than 16,000 under-privileged people registered by the ministry.
A list of 13 single-use plastics to be phased out by 2023 was published. Production and sale will be prohibited with effect on 1 June 2022 for:
- Styrofoam boxes
- cotton buds with plastic stems
- plastic bottles below 500ml (carbonated and non-carbonated drinks except water)
- toiletries in bottles below 50ml,
- drinking cups below 250ml
- sweet areca nuts in plastic packing (supari)
- shopping bags smaller than 30 by 30cm
Plastic shopping bags below 50-micron thickness as well as shampoo, conditioner, soap and lotion bottles from 50 to 250ml will be banned on 1 March 2023. The local production and sale of plastic water bottles below 500ml must cease by 1 September 2022. Plastic water bottles below 1 litre will be banned on 1 March 2024.
The Maldives welcomed the 1.3 millionth tourist of 2021, reaching the government’s optimistic target for the year as the industry continues to recover faster than expected. The previous target of one million tourists – 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels – was reached by the end of October. The target for the golden jubilee of Maldives tourism in 2022 is a record two million holidaymakers.
The tender process for the development of an international airport on Hanimadhoo island in the northernmost atoll was launched. “The project financed by the Indian Exim Bank’s Line of Credit is envisioned to be a catalyst for the development of the North of Maldives into an engine of growth and prosperity,” according to the economic development ministry.