Maldives imports drop 50 pct during pandemic

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MALE, July 10 (Xinhua) — Imports to Maldives have dropped by 50 percent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, local media citing Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) reported here Friday.

In a webinar hosted by the National Federation of Maldivian Employers, MPL CEO Shahid Ali attributed the 50 percent drop in imports to lockdowns and transport restrictions around the world, media reported.

Shahid noted that the volume of imports and exports stood at a healthy level before the pandemic and that a 12 percent increase in trade was projected for 2020 despite the short term shocks of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, speaking at the same webinar, Managing Director of Maldives State Shipping (MSS) Abdulla Saeed said that the country’s newly established shipping line has proven essential for providing medical supplies, food, and construction materials during the pandemic.

Saeed added that despite not yet being profitable, the MSS would create new opportunities for local seafarers and for developing new local industries.

MSS was established as a subsidiary of the State Trading Organization (STO) amid the COVID-19 pandemic in March, in order to facilitate import of essential goods at an affordable price to consumers. Enditem

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