Monday, 03 March 2014

The President appeals to the People’s Majlis to facilitate the Government’s endeavours at attracting investment finance for key development projects

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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”.‎

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