The Maldives’ top import source, as of December 2023, was China with imports valued at MVR 782 million; accounting for 15 percent of total imports, according to Maldives Customs Service data. This is a MVR 362 million jump over imports in November which were valued at MVR 420 million.

Oman came in a close second with imports worth MVR 768 million.

In the previous months, the highest amounts of goods were imported from neighbouring India, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

China has taken over the top importer spot as bilateral relations between the nation and the Maldives took a leap forward with the change in administrations. While the previous Ibrahim Mohamed Solih administration sought to build stronger ties with India, at the expense of alienating China, the current Mohamed Muizzu administration has moved to repair the rift, seemingly at the expense of alienating India, a long cherished regional partner for the Maldives.

President Mohamed Muizzu, during his state visit to China Earlier this month, signed 20 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Chinese sources, positioning China to play a significant role in delivering development and infrastructure growth to the Maldives over the course of Muizzu’s five-year term.

The Maldives’ total imports for December, including fuel, were valued at MVR 5.1 billion. Total exports were valued at MVR 250 million, of which 66 percent went to Thailand.