The Maldives government has changed the rules governing the transfer of shares by resort owners and operators significantly. The government announced on February 12, 2022, that these companies would no longer need to obtain prior permission from the Tourism Ministry to transfer their shares. This amendment aims to simplify the country's business processes and attract more foreign investment in the tourism sector.
The amendment to the share transfer regulations removes two clauses. Previously, share transfers involving tourism businesses required prior written permission from the Tourism Ministry. This requirement is no longer in effect. The second clause required the submission to the Tourism Ministry of a share certificate issued by the Economic Ministry upon completion of the share transfer. This criterion has also been removed. Nonetheless, if the Tourism Ministry is notified of a share transfer, it will continue to seek public complaints.
The removal of these regulations by the government is a positive step towards making it easier for companies to invest in the Maldives' tourism sector. The amendment should boost investor confidence, reduce bureaucracy, and streamline the country's business process.