Foundation laid for economic activities, now to commence work: Economic Minister

Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed has said that the groundwork has been completed for much of the efforts the government plans to undertake for economic recovery and that what remains is for practical work to begin.

Speaking to media ahead of the commencement of the Maldives Investment Forum in Dubai today, Minister Saeed said that when President Dr Mohamed Muizzu had assumed office, the Maldives’ economy and financial condition had been in a very critical status.

“[However] we are 100 percent sure that we can recover without falling into the laps of any one. That is what we are doing. We need everyone’s cooperation in this. The economy will exist when the nation does. Political parties will also exist only when the nation does,” Saeed said.

Saeed announced that the biggest project announced by this government – SEZ – will also commence in the coming couple of months.

“A free zone area has been established and now there’s a company dedicated for that. That company has been given two big lagoons from Ihavandhippolhu (Haa Alif Atoll). We are getting ready to commence physical work in two to three months. That is under the name of Maldives Economic Gateway. That is bunkering and, for vessels travelling in that vicinity, in the eight degree channel, to get bunkering services and goods storage and godown services and to build spaces for that. We are looking to start that even if at a small scale,” Saeed said.

Saeed said that this is something Dubai has prior experience in, asserting that it is important to seek Dubai’s expertise in the endeavour.

“They have invented this long before. So they have experience of what they aimed for, and what they were not able to achieve and the reasons why. We are ready to make positive use of those [experiences]. They are also ready to share those experiences,” Saeed said.

Saeed also shared that work is being done to establish a development bank in the Maldives in accordance with the President’s pledges.

“For that, we will have to reach out to large funds. Two things will matter to them in doing this. One is good governance. The other is financial transparency. Then follows rating. Even if the rating is not the most qualified rating, getting full commitment from the banks is a green signal.”

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