Making a Mark


For a country which is witnessing a spike in manufactured products, it is indispensable to find the appropriate markets to sell and advertise these products. With the available market being limited to select countries, the importance of participating in international trade fairs have become rather clear to almost all of the Maldivian citizens. Among such, the recent participation of Maldives at the Kunming Trade Fair 2016 & China South Asia Expo has shown the Maldives, that if they tried – even Maldivian products could be sold at world markets.

With 64 Maldivian participants and 11,500 Maldivian products, the Ministry of Economic Development led the Maldivian delegation in China. Maldives being awarded the “Country of Honor” at the fair had only played to its gains, as it drew in the masses from all over the globe – who were visiting the fair.

The Maldivian pavilion – which was a bigger space compared to other countries – was designed in a way which would reflect the natural beauty of the Maldives and provide a “tropical island feeling” to all of the visitors. This clever design strategy was able to catch the attention of thousands of visitors, eventually making the Maldivian pavilion the most popular during the fair – with the first day itself seeing over 100,000 visitors.

While the pavilion was heavy with the touch of Maldives, the products displayed at different stalls were no different. From authentic Maldivian products such as vases lined with lacquer work, to modern day food marvels such as “chili canned fish”, nothing was left to the imagination. According to the Ministry of Economic Development, the most trending items were the spicy food items sent by SME’s. As such, “Kulhi Kaaja” was said to be the most sold item among these.

While the products put on display by Maldives were dominated by seafood items, we also got to witness diversity with the likes of “Kaashi Theyo” – a brand of coconut oil manufactured in the Maldives. In addition to this, various souvenir items were also sold at the pavilion – and the highest demand among these were for hand painting.

The fair also went onto prove to be a huge platform for Maldivian SME’s as many of the visitors had been keen to learn more about the Maldivian vendors, in a bid to distribute their products in various parts of China. Surely the participation in such fairs have become of importance to the Maldives, as it opens up the Maldivian products to the world market and brings in the much deserved exposure for these products.


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