Citing that, presently, there are unprecedented opportunities to attract investment capital to the Maldives, the President has appealed to the People’s Majlis to extend their firm support towards the Government’s ongoing endeavours at attracting necessary investment capital financing for key development projects in the Maldives. The President made these remarks in his Presidential Address for 2014, delivered before the People’s Majlis this morning.
Elaborating on the need to facilitate overseas capital investment to the Maldives, President Yameen noted that global financial markets are going through a prolonged period of ultra-low interest rates, and that, as a result, the Maldives has a lucrative opportunity to attract investment financing for major projects envisaged by the new Government.
Emphasising the testing domestic environment at the time of his assumption of office, President Yameen noted that much work is needed to restore normalcy, peace, harmony and equality. “Political rivalry and differences brought about tumultuous times”, he said. The President, however, noted that, with the Grace of the Almighty Allah, the situation in the country was rapidly returning to normalcy.
In his first Presidential Address, President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom recalled that the country’s economy too was facing a similarly difficult period at the end of 2013. Pointing out that the Maldives had, in recent years, achieved noteworthy progress in terms of an increase in per capita income levels, he said that the fiscal situation in the country was, however, in an alarming state.
Among the concerns that he raised in his Address, the President noted the manifold increase in the State’s debt to multilateral institutions and banks, and highlighted that foreign debt was a key factor that was weighing the economy down at present.
In his Address at this morning’s first sitting of the first session of the People’s Majlis for this year, President Yameen announced that, in comparison to 2008, the inflation rate is lower today, and that the Government is keen on ensuring that inflation is kept under check in moving forward with economic stabilisation.
Elaborating on the important policy initiatives over the Government in economic stabilisation over the past 100 days, the President noted that the Minimum Reserve Requirement in the Maldives had now been lowered from 25 percent to 20 percent, facilitating low interest investment loans. He added that the Government hopes to lower the MRR to 10 percent in the time ahead.
President Yameen, in his Address, said that the main gateway to the Maldives – the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport would be developed to accommodate for passenger capacity requirements for the next 50 years. He went on to note that preparatory work was underway to embark on this ambitious airport upgrading project. “When the project is completed, INIA will be able to serve for the growth of the tourism market following the opening up of our economy. INIA will become a proud resource of the Maldivian people”, the President added.
In his Presidential Address for 2014, the President highlighted that the Government’s pledges for the first 100 days of office had all been successfully implemented, including his manifesto priorities related to youth opportunities, empowerment of women and socioeconomic development. He also briefed Members of the People’s Majlis on some of these initiatives.
President Yameen stressed that the key priority of the Government for 2014 was to remedy the flagging national economy, and that such a transformation could only be brought about through inviting foreign investment for priority development projects. He assured that his economic agenda is geared towards youth employment. On this issue, he appealed to the private sector, as well as civil society organisations, for their support and assistance. He added that “gainful employment for the youthful generations of the Maldives is the key to the economic revival we aspire for”.