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Trade Policy Review: Maldives - Economic diversification is needed to sustain growth
PRESS RELEASE EMBARGO NOT FOR PUBLICATION, or distribution by news agencies UNTIL 1400 Geneva time (1200 GMT) 26 October 2009 PRESS/TPRB/321 26 October 2009 (09-5259) trade policy review: maldives Economic diversification is needed to sustain growth The Maldives is a physically and economically small, vulnerable developing country, heavily dependant for its prosperity on international trade. Real GDP growth averaged 7,4% between 2003 and 2008, driven mainly by the tourism sector. However growth is expected to contract by 1,3% in 2009 due to a decline in tourism activity, according to a WTO Secretariat report on the trade policies and practices of the Maldives. Given the concentration of the economic activity in few areas, the report highlights that to be able to sustain growth, the country needs to diversify the economy, specially in light of its expected graduation from least developed country (LDC) status in 2011, and to create a viable tax structure. Diversifying the ec