May 19, 2014 00:00 By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
Leading Thai hospitality and property development companies plan to continue expanding in the Maldives, which will also increase demand for Thai workers there.
Nisa Srisuworanant, deputy director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, said last week that trade and investment with the Maldives had increased significantly during the past year after the two countries signed the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement last year.
Many Thai service operators, food processors, developers, construction companies, alternative energy providers, education-related businesses, agricultural and fisheries companies, and SMEs are mulling to invest more in the Maldives as a destination with the potential to attract several million travellers a year.
Many Thai hotel brands such as Dusit, Centara and Anantara have already invested in the Maldives. The government there is facilitating more Thai businesses to expand there and more Thais to work there.
Thai skilled workers, such as spa therapists, chefs and engineers, now have more opportunity to work in the country. They should boost their chances of landing a job there by practising English. Under the pact, the Maldives government agreed to help Thai businesses get work permits for their Thai staff. Closer ties helped drive two-way trade up 40 per cent last year to US$152.9 million, over the $105 million average for previous years.
Thailand asked the Maldives to import more goods such as rice, agricultural products, processed food, textiles and electronic parts – and said it also wants to learn more about the Maldives’ fishery policies and management practices.