No plans to give any local airports to foreigners: Economic Minister

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail | Photo: Economic Ministry

Malé, Maldives – Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail has stated that the government has no plans to give away Maldivian airports to foreign parties.

Fayyaz stated this in a press conference held earlier tonight after amendments made yesterday to the Foreign Direct Investment Policy yesterday, allowing 100% foreign companies to take control over Maldivian airports resulted in public outcry.

While these amendments has attracted the criticism of many, Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail tweeted saying that as many confusions are arising due to the new amendments, it will be changed and further clarified.

At tonight’s press conference, Fayyaz stated that there is no discussions, nor even the thought of selling shares of the regional airport company or local airports.

He added that, him previously being the lawyer for Indian company GMR is not related to the government’s actions, noting that there are absolutely no plans to give any Maldivian airport to India or any private companies of other foreign countries.

He also revealed that while most airports in the Maldives are running at a loss, the Minister reaffirmed that there was no intention of privatization.

The newly brought amendments to the Foreign Direct Investment Policy allow foreign companies to take 100 percent control over, and run airports in the Maldives for a period of 50 years which took effect from yesterday onwards. These companies are required to invest USD 5 million within a period of 5 years.

This decision from the government has attracted concerns and criticism from many. The critics state that letting foreign companies take over Maldivian companies is a threat to national security.