Maldives - US Sign Landmark Bilateral Agreement

Friday, 16 April 2010 10:20

The Governments of the Maldives and the United States have signed a new bilateral agreement promoting US private investment in the Maldives.

The Investment Incentive Agreement (IIA)  signed this morning, is aimed at allowing US companies to access financing (from large structural finance to small business loans), political risk insurance and investment funds from the United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in order to allow them to invest capital and skills in the Maldives.

US corporations today warmly welcomed the conclusion of the agreement and expressed confidence that the pact would lead to major new American investments. Speaking shortly before the official signing ceremony, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Group, a subsidiary of Marriot International, one of the world’s foremost hotel chains, welcomed the “year-long effort of the Foreign Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives and the U.S. Department of State” to negotiate the agreement.

Simon F. Cooper, President, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, said that “The Maldives has established itself as one of the world’s premium resort destinations…We believe that the Maldives is a very strong destination with significant potential. We have looked at many opportunities in the Maldives over the years, and have identified the location at Ekulhivaru, on the Noonu Atoll, as one that would offer our sophisticated travellers an exciting new place to explore and enjoy.” A 90-villa Ritz-Carlton Reserve is anticipated to include 55 beach location villas and 35 villas, with a private lagoon.

Today’s signature marked the culmination of a year-long negotiations conducted by the Permanent Mission of the Maldives in Geneva after the possibility of strengthening investment relations was raised by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, and Mr Richard Boucher, then Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs at the State Department during the Minister’s visit to the US in January 2009.

The IIA was signed by the Minister for Economic Development Mohamed Rasheed and the US Ambassador to the Maldives Patricia Butenis.

Related post:

MTDC says it owns 20% of resort to be developed at Ekulhivaru Island


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