China Emerges as Top Importer in Maldives, with Thailand Leading in Exports

According to recent data from the Maldives Customs Service, China was identified as the largest importer of goods into the Maldives in December 2023. The figures indicate a total import value of MVR 5.1 billion for the month, with China contributing MVR 782 million to this amount.

In contrast to the import statistics, Thailand has been recognised as the primary destination for Maldivian exports. In the same period, Thailand accounted for a substantial 66% of the total exports from the Maldives.

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Detailed analysis of the import data reveals that following China, the countries contributing most significantly to Maldivian imports were Oman (MVR 768 million), Singapore (MVR 731 million), India (MVR 683 million), and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with MVR 591 million. This diverse range of import sources reflects the Maldives’ extensive global trade connections.

In terms of export dynamics, the United Kingdom and Germany followed Thailand closely, constituting 9% and 7% of exports, respectively. Switzerland and France each accounted for 3% of the exports, indicating a well-distributed European market presence for Maldivian goods.

A month-on-month comparison shows a noteworthy trend. While imports in November stood at MVR 4.3 billion, this represented a decrease of 9% compared to the same period last year. On the export front, December saw Maldivian exports valued at MVR 250 million, an increase from MVR 216 million in November, equating to a rise of MVR 34 million. However, it’s important to note that despite this monthly increase, there was a 9% decrease in exports when compared to the previous year, based on the data.

The figures from the Maldives Customs Service are indicative of shifting trade patterns in the region. While China’s position as a major importer reflects its growing economic influence, the prominence of Thailand in Maldivian exports demonstrates the strategic trade relationships within Asia.

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