In 1989, the government initiated an economic reform program that lifted import quotas and opened exports of some commodities to the private sector (until then, exports had been entirely controlled by a state trading organization). In 2000, exports consisted almost exclusively of fish products and apparel. Manufactured goods, machinery, fuels, and food are the main imports.
Leading trade partners of 2000 are listed in the accompanying table. In the late 1970s, Mauritius, Japan, and Pakistan comprised almost 90% of the country's export market. The vast majority of Maldives' commodity exports are fish (53%) and apparel (46%).
Principal trading partners in 2000 (in millions of US dollars) were as follows:
|United Arab Emirates||n.a.||33||n.a.|