Maldivians ready to open up the economy, says president

Maldivians are starting to see the benefits of opening up the economy for private investments, said President Mohamed Nasheed, speaking at the Regional Export Awards presentation ceremony of Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) of India, held at Kurumba Maldives yesterday evening.

President Nasheed said until recently the Maldivian economy has been very centralised and heavily regulated, and this had “prevented growth, repelled investment and thwarted people’s aspirations.”

The president mentioned the reforms in the Indian economy, which he said were strengthening the country’s economy and lifting millions out of poverty.

Highlighting the importance of foreign investment, he mentioned the benefits of the agreement with Apollo Hospitals of India, which are investing US$125 million to reform Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

He said the government has successfully attracted foreign investors to invest in housing, electricity and energy programmes, and how private investors are at the forefront of the new transport system that will connect all inhabited islands with ferry services.

The Maldives Partnership Forum IV, a conference giving international investors the chance to visit the country and invest in its development, will be held in March.