State Trading Organization (STO)
It was the early 1960's and the nation's socioeconomic outlook was not a very promising one. The population was a mere 100,000. The only communication with the outside world was the Morse code and the ham radio. The only airstrip was the one laid by the British RAF and the mode of transport between islands was limited to traditional sailing Dhoni. The only resource available was tuna. Consumers were at the mercy of importers. Even the most basic food items were expensive. The country had no banking service. Development was slow with no available funds for major investments and no commercial industry.
The need became more apparent for a central organization to import goods necessary to raise the living standards and encourage development. In 1964, a fully state-funded business was set up by the Maldivian government with one key mission to begin with: strengthening national food security. The main task of the company, then named Athireemaafannu Trading Agency (ATA), was to purchase and import essential food items in bulk to be distributed nationally via local traders and ATA's own retail outlets. ATA sold its imports to the public at low mark-up and also purchased supplies for the government.
ATA was the beginning of STO, and the catalyst for change in the Maldives. With proven success in contributing to national development, ATA matured to become the State Trading Organization (STO) on 9th June 1979. STO undertook all trading and commercial activity on behalf of the Maldivian government. The nation was growing and so were its demands. While remaining true to its original mission, STO expanded its imports, first to an increasing number of commodity items, and then on to modern construction materials, home appliances and consumer goods.
Enriching lives through expansion and accessibility.
Lead through expansion of existing businesses, diversification, exploring new possibilities and entering into new ventures.
Explore beyond their borders, expand their markets and establish themselves as an international player, respected by the international business community.
Ensure accessibility with their presence nationwide; offer peace of mind and assurance to the public of uninterrupted provision and affordability of essential goods and services and those that contribute to a full filling modern lifestyle.
Build a skilled workforce by investing in human development; build their competencies, to achieve sustainable and unhindered growth and fulfill their vision.See more