LDC transition progress needs upgrading, says Maldives representative to UN

The Maldives Mission to the United Nations in New York has hosted a meeting to discuss the need to assist countries such as the Maldives in graduating from Least Developed Country (LDC) status.

The Maldives was graduated to middle income under the UN’s definitions at the beginning of this year, depriving it of a number of financial concessions and eligibility for some donor aid.

The existing process of transition was underdeveloped, claimed Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the UN Ghafoor Mohamed, particularly the repeal of all special financial and technical assistance.

The Maldives has a profitable tourism industry and a GDP of over US$1 billion, however a generous taxation system and the relative isolation of this industry from the country’s economy – particularly its banking sector – has limited the benefit for ordinary Maldivians. The government has been steadily reforming the taxation of the tourism sector and has recently introduced a tourism goods and services tax and business profit tax.

Sixty delegates from various UN missions attended the meeting.