Parliamentarian Ahmed Haroon has presented the Foreign Investment Bill on behalf of the Maldivian government. The primary objective of this proposed legislation is to establish clear rules and regulations governing foreign investments within the Maldives, as well as to outline the process for granting permits to individuals seeking to invest in the country. Furthermore, the bill seeks to amend the rules pertaining to investor protection and security while specifying the conditions under which state acceptance of investments will occur.
The central provision within the bill involves the issuance of licenses to investors upon receiving approval for their foreign investment endeavors. These licenses will be registered by the relevant ministry, and they will be non-transferable to other individuals. Each license will include essential information about the investor, a concise description of the economic activities linked to the investment, and an estimated amount of funds to be allocated for the project. Additionally, the bill requires that the license clearly outline the permitted investment activities.
Under the proposed legislation, the ministry will possess the authority to withhold or revoke licenses in cases where investments violate established rules and regulations. The bill goes to great lengths to ensure comprehensive protection and security for investments made in the Maldives, emphasizing that such investments should be governed by transparent policies.
One fundamental aspect of the bill is the provision for foreign investors to have the right to repatriate both capital and profits generated from their investments within the Maldives. The legislation also stipulates that no action may be taken by the state or any state agency aimed at expropriating foreign investments, even through subsequent laws.
Furthermore, the bill incorporates stringent penalties for violations. Any such offense could result in fines of up to 30% of the entire business or investment value. The legislation also outlines varying fines ranging from USD 6,500 to USD 65,000, dependent on the severity of the transgressions.
This comprehensive Foreign Investment Bill seeks to provide a structured framework for foreign investments in the Maldives while promoting transparency, safeguarding investments, and outlining repercussions for violations. The bill is set to undergo further parliamentary scrutiny and debate to ensure that it aligns with the national interests of the Maldives.