Australia and Maldives share interests in maritime security, trade, combatting transnational crime and collaboration on climate change, oceans and environment. Australia and Maldives continue to engage on shared interests, including human rights, terrorism and building democratic institutions. Australia supports Maldives to continue its democratic agenda, including by enhancing cooperation with multilateral, Commonwealth and regional institutions.
Australia’s development cooperation with Maldives is delivered primarily through capacity building partnerships, including by offering direct educational opportunities, sharing Australian expertise in sustainable environmental resource management, and working through UN partners to help strengthen civil society and inclusive governance.
The 2022-23 budget estimate for Australian Official Development Assistance to Maldives is AUD$2.8 million.
Eight long term Australia Awards were funded in 2022-23 for scholars focused on economic development, education, environmental management and health leadership. To date, 701 Maldivians have completed Australian Government funded studies in Australia. Of these, 612 were under Australia Awards, 80 Australia Award Fellowships and nine on Endeavour Awards.
Australia has contributed A$3.8 million over ten years (2013 - 2023) to the United Nations Development Programme Integrated Governance Programme in Maldives. Over three phases, the programme has worked directly with Government and non-Government partners to strengthen transparency and accountability of public institutions, promote equitable access to justice and respect for human rights, support women’s participation in decision-making and strengthen civil society. Australia has also worked with the Maldives Prosecutor General’s Office to strengthen data management and evidence-based decision making in Maldives' criminal justice system.
Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) works with the Maldives Marine Research Institute to train and empower local communities on methods for coral larval restoration techniques, helping safeguard Maldives’ vital marine resources. Australia contributed AUD$2 million to the World Bank implemented Climate Change Trust Fund in Maldives (2013 - 2018), which assisted more than 4,000 households through enhanced tourism, livelihood opportunities and ecosystem conservation.
Further information on Development Cooperation in Maldives.
Bilateral trade between Australia and Maldives has remained steady over the past decade, with the exception of COVID-19 related travel restrictions impeding trade in 2020-21. Two-way goods and services trade was $173.9 million in 2021-22, of which $149.6 million was Australian exports. Australia was Maldives' 12th largest source of imports in 2021. There were 135 Maldivian students studying in Australia in 2021. Australia’s education related travel exports to Maldives were worth $7.0 million in 2021-22.