Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, in his capacity as Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, has commended the government on opening the Maldives for business. The Duke of York made this statement while speaking at the Maldives International Showcase Seminar. President Mohamed Nasheed inaugurated the seminar, which was held yesterday at the Royal Automobile Club.

The investment showcase seminar – jointly organised by the Invest Maldives and Commonwealth Business Council for the President Nasheed’s visit – provided information on the investment opportunities available in the Maldives.

The Duke of York further said that he would support the Maldives’ efforts to become a beacon of light for environment protection, by providing information on environment friendly investment options available in the Maldives.

The Duke of York also noted that opening the Maldives for business would bring greater development and prosperity to the Maldives. Noting that a lot of UK investments already existed in the Maldives, he said that the government of United Kingdom would encourage for more UK investments in the Maldives.

Highlighting the close ties between the Maldives and the United Kingdom, the Duke of York assured UK’s continued assistance for consolidating democracy in the country.

At the seminar, the Minister of State for Economic Development, Mr Mohamed Adil Saleem spoke on the government’s new policy on economic development. Also, Managing Director of MIFCO, Mr Ali Faiz, spoke on the environment-friendly methods practiced by Maldivian fishermen.

Separately, as part of his official visit to the UK, President Nasheed yesterday met with Mr Mark Cornwall, Premier Relationship Manager of HSBC and his associates. During the meeting discussions were focused on expanding HSBC services in the Maldives.