The Maldives joined the Integrated Framework (IF) in 2004 and undertook preparations on a Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) which was validated in November 2006. The DTIS was integrated into the 7th National Development Plan.
Description of the projects (objectives and interventions)
The DTIS was integrated into the 7th National Development Plan and subsequently, four project proposals were implemented under the IFTF Window II in 2008 with the focus on institutional capacity building, policy advice and trade facilitation. Specific projects interventions pursued under IF Window II include; (i) institutional capacity building of the Ministry of Economic Development ("MED") as the nodal agency for trade policy making; (ii) establishing a trade information system; (iii) supporting services negotiations in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation ("SAARC") and WTO; and (iv) supporting upgrading ASYCUDA software of the Maldives Customs Services. IF Window II funded projects were completed by Dec 2010.
With the change of administration in Nov 2008, the DTIS Action matrix was mainstreamed to the Strategic Action Plan 2009-2013 formulated by the government.
Main progresses to date
Following the EIF Board Decision in July 2010, Maldives was granted automatic extension of full EIF benefits after graduation from LDC status. The Maldives' Tier 1 support to National Implementation Arrangements ("NIAs") project is under implementation since January 2011.
The Maldives has also submitted Tier 2 project ideas on; (i) Strengthening capacity of trade facilitation institutions focusing on (a) customs modernization with full migration to ASYCUDA World and (b) strengthening regulatory capacity of the Civil Aviation Authority to implement a robust economic regulatory framework to engage private sector in management of airport infrastructure; and (iii) integrating of Micro, Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to the tourism sector value chain.
The first Tier 2 project on Trade facilitation was approved by the EIF Board on 30 May 2013. Operationalization of the project is underway with the signing of the MOU with UNOPS on 05 August 2013.
The outlook for EIF activities in the Maldives is positive. While the on-going democratic transition process and on – going political disturbances have impacted smooth project implementation in 2012, project implementation has gained momentum once again 2013.
With the first Tier 2 project approved, the country is preparing to submit additional Tier 2 projects with significant Government support. Second Tier 2 project is planned to be submitted for EIF Board approval by the year end.
Some of the key achievements of Tier 1 project to-date includes; (i) formulation of a national economic diversification strategy (http://www.trade.gov.mv/downloads/aaaaaaaaaaaa77_MEDS.pdf); (ii) Submission of formal application to seek accession for EU GSP + scheme (iii) initial assessments towards setting a single window system for trade facilitation in the Maldives; (iv) capacity building of 80 tax officials to effectively implement Goods and Service and other related taxes in Maldives; (v) capacity of 25 trade officials on trade facilitation related areas, particularly on implementation of a single window system.
With implementation momentum build up and with additional Tier 2 projects in the pipeline, the country will be seeking an extension for the Tier 1 project. Mid-term evaluation of the first phase is planned for the last quarter.
In addition, the country plans to submit a Tier 1 proposal to undertake a DTIS review early next year.
|Outcome 1: Sufficient Institutional and management capacity built in EIF countries to formulate and implement Trade related strategies & implementation plans|
|O1.1 Tier 1 ' Support to NIAs' project completed or under implementation||Yes||Yes|
|O1.2 EIF Country with complete, up-to-date validated DTIS Action Matrices||Yes||No|
|O1.3 Level of capacity of NIU to perform fiduciary programme management for Tier 1 project||N/A||2|
|O1.4 Country with up-to date trade strategies||Yes||Yes|
|O1.5 Country with quality trade strategy||2||2|
|O1.6 Country with quality trade strategy implemented||4||3|
|Outcome 2: EIF countries mainstream trade into their national development strategies and plans|
|O2.1 Trade in PRSP and/or National development strategies||3||3|
|O2.2 Existence of productive sector strategies integrating the trade dimension||Yes||Yes|
|O2.3 Functioning public/private consultation mechanism||1||1|
|Outcome 3: Coordinated delivery of trade related resources (funding, TA etc.) by donors & implementing agencies to implement country priorities following adoption of DTIS Action Matrix|
|O3.1 Availability of an annual rolling implementation overview integrating all trade-related government & donor-supported activities (including gender & environment)||Yes||Yes|
|O3.2 Frequency of government and donor consultations on trade-related matters||4||3|
|O3.3 UN CEB Cluster activities based on DTIS Matrix priorities in EIF Countries||Yes||Yes|
|O3.4 Country with joint donor initiatives in the trade area (such as need assessment; strategy formulations; programming; pooled funding; M&E; etc.)||No||Yes|
|Outcome 4: EIF Countries secure resources in support of initiatives that address DTIS Action Matrix priorities|
|O4.1 Country with implementation plan integrating DTIS/Action Matrix priorities and indicating financing needs to be met through ODA||N/A||2|
|O4.2 Country where a Government budget exists for implementation of its trade strategy||No||Yes|
|O4.4 Number of projects funded by donors related to the DTIS Action Matrix||2||7|
|O4.4.1 Amount of projects funded by donors related to the DTIS Action Matrix (Million USD)||2.7||31.97|
Expected results for 2013 include continual and successful implementation of the Tier 1 project. Additionally, it is expected that a Tier 2 project concerning the improvement of the customs soft infrastructure will be finalized and submitted to the EIF Board and another Tier 2 project developed, which will address the integration of the local industry in tourism value-chains.