There is only one thing on everyone’s mind – the dollar-rufiyaa exchange rate. In a country that imports everything from salt to the accountants that run its businesses, it is no wonder that everyone from the construction worker to the Maldives’ answer to Donald Trump (I’ll leave you to guess whom) is trying their hand at being an economist with a specialty in foreign exchange.
Whether you agree with the politics of it or not, the devaluation was needed. If anything it should have come sooner. The Maldives has been growing its rufiyaa-based economy at break-neck speed. Salary rises across the board, increased government spending and ever increasing infrastructure projects have become the norm over the past decade. By and large this ‘growth’ in the domestic economy has been driven by the public sector (government policy & the civil service) and paid for by printing Maldivian rufiyaa and clever manoeuvres with T-Bills (which the government has used since 2009 to be able conveniently sidestep the charge of printing money). In simple terms: successive governments printed/created money to drive domestic economic growth.
What it didn’t manage to do was increase it’s dollar receipts at the same speed (actually all foreign currency, but I’ll use dollar interchangeably in this article). Yes growth in the tourism industry increased the dollar receipts but nearly not enough to fund the increase of rufiyaa in circulation. The previous government had a spade of one-off dollar incomes by selling resorts, but by neglecting to make sure that these so called developers had the capacity to develop the properties and provide the country with a constant source of dollars, they missed a trick. The consequence: an imbalance in the amount of dollars the country has the capacity of earning and the amount of rufiyaa it is printing/creating and spending. If you increase the supply of rufiyaa without the corresponding increase in dollar receipts, it is inevitable that Maldivian rufiyaa will be worth less. It is simple demand and supply.
So the question is, where to from here? By creating a ceiling at Rf15.42, the government has effectively stopped a steep depreciation in the currency and has minimised the crippling effects of a severe shock to the economy – and it should be praised for that. There is however a cost. This will erode purchasing power in the short term and will hit people’s pockets (albeit tempered by the fact that the dollar was already trading at around Rf 14 in the black market despite the best efforts of the authorities). As always, it is the common ‘Mohanma’ on the street who will bear the highest burden. Prices will inevitably creep up and the inflation will put pressure on wages. Any subsequent wage increases which will lead to further effective devaluations. Let us not sugar coat this – it will be painful.
What the government needs to do is to come up with a credible plan to redress this imbalance and reassure the people that the pain is worth it. There are two fundamental way of doing this: i) reducing the rufiyaa in circulation, or ii) increasing the dollar revenue the country earns. In my mind there is no doubt the answer lies in a fiscal solution to get the economy back on an even keel. The dollar crisis is simply a symptom of deeper economic woes – not the problem itself.
Reducing rufiyaa in circulation
The main levers of doing this are a) reduce government spending – reducing wages and cutting unfunded government projects and/or b) increasing rufiyaa-based taxes.
Reducing government spending is an essential plank of what needs to be done to rebalance the books. This is the path that the UK and the EU (driven by Germany) are already following, and all indications are that the US will announce similar austerity measures after its Quantitative Easing splurge. Cutting too quick and too deep may the tip the economy into recession and that would be very painful – but not doing anything is simply not an option. The consequences are even graver.
The government also needs to ensure that it adopts a progressive taxation system on rufiyaa-based incomes. We need to ensure that the rich share ‘equitably’ in the pain of rebalancing our books. Equitably here means that they pay a much higher proportion of the cleanup costs – in practice this should be a combination of no taxes for the low income earners, close to 50 percent taxes for the ultra high income earners and a corporation tax system which exempts small local businesses.
Increase the dollar revenue
The most appealing of all options as it means no painful cuts. The catch is that this is largely out of the government’s control, at least in the short term. The only two significant sources of dollar income are through fisheries and tourism – and there are challenges in growing both sectors. Investment in fisheries is long over due, but ultimately the sector does not have the scale to solve the problem in the short to medium term – it is simply too small today.
Tourism, the great gold rush of this generation, is a much bigger challenge. Government types tell wonderful stories of 20 percent equity returns and 60 resorts waiting to be developed. The simple truth is that this represents close to US$3 billion of investment in a country where the nominal GDP is around £1.5 billion – an improbability to put it mildly. It is simply not realistic to pin our hopes on some sort of tourism growth bonanza in the short term – we might as well play the Euro lottery every week if this is the only plan.
The long term rebalance
In the long term, the structural solutions are through growth of our industries that translate into real economic growth underpinned by increases in our foreign currency receipts. The government needs to:
- Foster an environment where real growth can be achieved for our innovative companies in the fisheries sector (the next Big Fish, Horizon et al), and also create opportunities for Maldivian corporations and SMEs in other sectors to grow into the world market. Investing in revenue growth is more important that building airports on every island. Real growth in the economy driven by the private sector is the road to prosperity – not government spending based on printing money and clever manoeuvres with T-Bills.
- Move now to ensure a quick solution to all the tourism development projects stopped because they were awarded to parties with no money or track record. It is bizarre that they have been allowed to hang on to ‘their’ assets without fulfilling their obligations by cajoling the government and the banks. Moratoriums on lease payments or debt repayments may look innocuous enough, but they rob the country of vital growth opportunities and hence ultimately rob the people. We should not stand for it.
- Implement an equitable progressive taxation system. It is not fair that the low income people pay the same taxes as the highest earning group – through the flat import duty this means that the poor actually pay a larger percentage of their income as tax than the rich. And it is criminal that the resort owners are sitting in parliament legislating that they should not pay their fair share of taxes on the very substantial amounts they earn. This is a clear conflict of interest and something that needs to be addressed at a national level. The constitutional stipulation that Majlis members shall not vote on issues in which they have a personal vested interest must become more than just a nice idea on paper. The 3 percent tourism GST is simply not equitable enough!
The country’s economic troubles require a bold government that can show leadership and is honest with the Maldivian people about the tough choices ahead. Equally it needs a responsible opposition which accepts the reality of the problem and challenges the government on the merits of its economic policies by proposing viable alternatives. For their trials and tribulations, the Maldivian people deserve it. Whether they are lucky enough to have either, only time will tell.
Ali Imraan is the Director of Structured Finance at the Royal Bank of Scotland. The views expressed here are his own personal views and opinions and do not represent those of the Royal Bank of Scotland and should not be construed to do so in any way, shape or form.
All comment pieces are the sole view of the author and do not reflect the editorial policy of Minivan News. If you would like to write an opinion piece, please send proposals to [email protected]
66 thoughts on “Comment: It’s the economy stupid!”
Bravo Ali Imran! Finally someone has summarized it all in a way for the layman to understand what has been going and continues.
In various comments I have tried to high light the very same issues but Ali Imran has very well articulated it all in a very professional manner.
At the end of the day, we need the Government to take bold and painful steps that are necessary to stabilize the economy.
Wonderful article. I agree with him. We need to make tough choices to ensure a bright economic future.
Its not that we dont know the problem its just that we r refusing to believe that it really exist.
our government dont have the b*l*s. they are puppets of the big businesses.
"The main levers of doing this are a) reduce government spending – reducing wages and cutting unfunded government projects and/or b) increasing rufiyaa-based taxes". Very well said indeed. But the problem was this was too painful for Gayoom to do. He procrastinated. He found all sorts of excuses not to do that. Came 2008. We were catapulted to 'aneh dhivehiraajje'. As you say its the economy, stupid. But Anni didnt think so. Instead of focusing on front-loading economic reforms and creating an inclusion agenda on the political front he spent our meagre resources of doing-nothing commissions, councils and frivolous political posts to fight the ghosts of Gayoom's era. And the result is the mess we are in now!
there's just no painless solutions to our problems. We have known our problems all along -t he structural problems in the public sector, the disproportionately large civil service, low budget revenues and inadequate tax receipts, the tradition of “fantasy budgets” just to name a few. This is all spawned by nothing but the greed and the insatiable demands of powerful political figures in the parliament and government. These were the people that controlled Gayoom. Today the same people along with some others have highjacked Anni. These are the people that, for thier political expediency, simply shut their eyes to the financial black hole this country is headed to. They are not ignorant. They saw this coming. But it looks like as is all the finance Ministers that followed Arif were left with no option but to curry favour to the demands of these people. And today its easy to blame it all on Fazeel Najeeb. Im not saying Fazeel is doing a good job. But we simply cant put the blame squarely on Fazeel.
This is a great article and many points here that, not only the Government but all policy makers at different institutions and businesses and the general population concerned with the growth of the country, can learn from! Well Done, Ali Imraan! Please keep on making such contributions, we need such articles!
If only the blind followers of bad politicians were able to read!
Thank you Imran, for an informative article. The challenge here at home is to find people who will have the time to listen to commonsense.
Well written article! I hope the President and concerned people would read this article and use it's recommendations to tackle our problems.
"The dollar crisis is simply a symptom of deeper economic woes – not the problem itself."
But the sad thing is the present government simply does not have the capacity to address the real issues. I can only see our economy spiralling down a bottomless pit. The Rf 15.42 for a dollar is not the worst we will see. It is only the beginning. My prediction is that Mldivian currency will need to be devalued again during the next 6 months.
There are great recommendations in this article, now the public should draft it into a petition to submit to the government. Bearing in mind the point number 2 which the government would like to ignore further for political reasons.
Maybe Maldives Democracy network or such other NGO can take on the reigns and collaborate with others about putting together a petition.
The government has already failed a golden opportunity to put things right.
President Nasheed has missed a trick. He may have a little window of opportunity still. He needs to make unpopular choices now, but cutting down government expenditure except on development projects.
There will be a lot of pain. But, when he prepares to go to the polls in a few years time, he can turn around the economy and provide a few "handouts" at the same time.
This needs a careful masterplan and some real economic management capability. I'm not entirely sure that the current government has this capability.
Forget about the opposition. They don't know what colour a dollar is!
Great article Ali Imraan.
Yes the government needs to make some tough choices. however they also need to come clean and talk in laymen terms to the common men on the street, on the hardship we might have to face for a while.
As for the opposition, lets not even count on them, all they do is whine and talk about how bad this government is, to give any constructive ideas, or even constructive criticism is just beyond their capabilities.
nobody here has any clue what you have written. but er good english laddie
That cleared a lot of things up.
i think main challenge at home is riding motorcycle on majeedhee magu in straight line from end to end. not dollars. dollars are haram.
Brilliant article - the best I've read on the issue so far.
A few additional points:
a) The reality is that Tourism will remain our main growth engine - however there is plenty of opportunity to diversify our markets. The biggest tourism phenomenon of the last few years is the growth in the Far East and China market - building resorts that cater specifically to these markets (as they have successfully done in Malaysia and Thailand) is required. The great thing about this is that their seasonal patterns correspond well with the European patterns. China (apart from their New Year Holidays in February) also peaks in June-July, Korea peaks in May (spring weddings) and Russia can peak in August (Russians will face increasing difficulty travelling to Europe because of visa restrictions). India is only a few years behind China - and we are well-placed to position ourselves as the premium destination of choice for the growing middle class. The opportunity to pick up our low season occupancies from 60 to 80% is a tremendous easy win. No doubt, additional marketing in these countries are required by the newly formed Maldives Public Relations Company.
b) You are right to point out taxation as a key issue, but it is also going to be very challenging.
Corporate taxation of 15% was agreed upon - but the great might of the tourism sector (and their accountants from the Big 4) would go into a fight on the details of this with the newly formed internal revenue service of the Maldives.
Also, exactly how a corporate tax will work without an income tax is yet to be seen. Yes the Corporate Tax bill states does state limits on 'income' compensation for Directors of the Company. However what is to stop the resort owner from selling his share to a dummy company, remain as CEO and collect a multi-million dollar salary which is effectively tax free - while the company makes only a small profit. I mean there's probably no end to the type of accounting trickery that the likes of a KPMG or an PWC can cook up. Corporate tax can only work with a corresponding private income tax - but income tax is political suicide in this market.
Similarly introducing a taxation system while at the same time stimulating growth for companies can pull the government in conflicting and contradictory directions. Its not entirely clear in the current tax structure who (i.e. President, the independent tax office or Parliament) can offer tax incentives for new companies to set up businesses in the country. Successful countries that have attracted investment (Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore) have some kind of regional development agency or an investment promotion agency with the power to give such concessions.
c) The tourism product also needs to diversify - but this requires some fundamental changes in law in the country - to which Parliament must now step up and deliver.
For example, the government talks about luxury villas that can be bought by high net worth individuals and generally stimulating a private real estate market in tourism. This can generate significant benefits for the country: construction boom, ability to tap individual finances to the tourism sector, and ultimately corporate gains tax as these properties are bought and sold in the market are just some of them.
The biggest challenge to this is that currently leasehold laws in the country only gives foreigners 50 years of ownership - we need to change that to 99 years. I know we as a small country should be concerned about foreigners buying it all up - but you can put limits on the areas where foreigners can buy land as they do in other small islands nations in the Caribbean or Mauritius.
It also requires us to look into providing residency immigration status to owners of the property and therefore changes to our immigration laws.
Sorry this has turned into an overly long comment but I hope readers who have been justifiably stimulated by this excellent article also finds this interesting.
i demand to know why Minivannews is socliciting the opinion of RBS employees. the British government had to bailout this bank with 40billion dollars.
Who in the MDP government or the parliament really understand this level of economics. In the face of politicians becoming more and more corrupt, educated and respectful people with integrity are distancing themselves from the politics more and more... and therefore from the decision making process. End result... Muhanma on the street suffers...
But who do you blame when the resort-owner-MP can win the seat by buying out a few hundred Muhanmas for as little as a few thousand dollars...?
Is it the poverty-stricken Muhanmas who prioritise the well-being and prosperity of thier children over staying out of ill-intended handouts...?
Or is it the super wealthy resort-owner-MPs whose moral standards have fallen so low that they can't even see they are bribing...?
Either way the people with the integrity and the brains will not be attracted to rub shoulders with the corrupt so how are we ever going to have sophisticated economics in Maldives...?
Thank you Imran Ali,
U have laid it out very clearly and precisely so that even a layman like me could understand the problem. The challenge is to get the policy makers moving in the right direction. The government and opposition needs to be honest with the people. I would like to see people like Imran Ali, local businessmen, resort owners and policy makers discuss these issues on public tv to wider audience.
i am usually vary of neoliberals advising governments on how to develop, but this was a very convincing article! thanks.
Well written article without any politics which i liked the most.
Hher are some good eg to prove that nothing is done to come out of this situation.
there is no support for increasing exports.
Processors of fish pays average 25% for pakaging material for export and fish products imported are charged at 10%.
Paultry importers pay average 20% on imports for paultry feeds but 5% is paid on import of eggs.
With this kind of imports tax regimes how can export be increased. These are been addressed to goverment and nothing done and politicans blame civil servants for delays and we are suffer in the process.
Hope this article is read by the country's best economist. MP Redwave Saleem, MP Riyaz Rasheed, Mp Mutholib and Umar Naseer.
Really nice article, fluid, informative and all in lay terms.
You should do another opinion piece on our labour force and its real productivity. I'm sure it would help some people realize that they need to actually do productive work to afford a decent life.
What a bunch of economists. I almost choked on my coffee, laughing before I realised that these are the kinds of people we are talking about and there is nothing to laugh about. lol
Superb article Imma. Short, sweet and in layman's terms.
"By creating a ceiling at Rf15.42, the government has effectively stopped a steep depreciation in the currency and has minimised the crippling effects of a severe shock to the economy – and it should be praised for that" .
The author is from RBS. But i as an ignorant man on the street will bet my last cent that this is not going to happen!
I really don't understand the animosity towards MDP, in the comment section.
What the article is telling us to do is for all the comfortable salaried civil servants to quit their jobs and go build a business that will bring in US dollars to the country. Nothing short of that will help, nothing the MDP does or Majlis does.
Reducing spending would be a great plan. But the bureaucrats and the lawmakers are hell-bent on making people spend and waste more.
A well written article though nothing new proposed. The problem in the Maldives is that resort owners are always having their way. Parliment members are sponsored by them. Just imagine giving a fifteen year lease extension for just US$1.5m. Leases of resorts can be extended depending on the US$ the resort trades in the local market. The real value of 15 years lease extensioin is over US$20.m Increasing taxes is not what is required. What is called for is a stop to government spending done presently to generate votes. Builiding an airport for every 10000 people is not what we need. Deepening and constructing harbors on islands that accommodate less than 500 people is not what we want. Just because Hulhumale' is a maumoon's project to replace it with Gulhifalhu and make it an anni's baby is not what is required. We should not try to eliminate the infrastructural difference between Male' and Rajethere. Let Rajethere be Rajethere. Make people to migrate to one place and build that place to accommodate them.
Some one has to listen and accept the hard truth to make our country survive. Forget politics and at least do some thing for your country. I am stunned for the inaction of civil society in cases of national urgencies.
One of the greatest articles ever written on Economics. I nominate this article for a Nobel Prize.. AND a Pulitzer prize. This article solved all our problems. Im now lying on the bed eating vanilla ice cream with a smile on my face. I feel at peace.
@kaidha - u r right about what the civil servants need to do. But u r wrong about MDP and majlis. Majlis need to substantially reduce their salaries and perks. MDP needs to immediately cease appointing all its jokers to high paying political posts. This is not about being against MDP. This is about being against some disastrous things being done by MDP/Majlis/DRP/judiciary et al.
Ali imran congrats on this article..a clean, precise article laid precisely to make the people to understand.Hopefully people who are in shock might get a better understanding where they are standing.How this would eventualy help the economy.As imran said it's simply about the simple Demand & Supply.last but nor the least this will only be a sucess being the government as a watch dog on the curency market..Making sure the currency is stable.
Reading the comments of praise is enough to reveal the sad situation of the Maldives, if this is our ‘intellectuals’ think.
I could not go past the first section of the utter rubbish that is not worth reading. Here is why..
1. The author claims ‘devaluation was needed’. If we had a export goods industry, a competitive devaluation would have been justified but how could devaluation help if no industry input is priced in rufiyaa.
2. He says ‘Maldives has been GROWING a rufiyaa based economy’. In actual fact, increasing rufiyaa was to finance a growing current account deficit and NOT for investment. Obviously the author thinks increase in spending equates to growth…hehehe..
3. ‘In simple terms: successive governments printed/created money to drive domestic economic growth’ .. Wow.. if that is the case, bring on the printing machine.. the author needs to understand that printing was done out of necessity to fiancé deficit. Economic growth was the last thing that would happen from printing money.. It is like saying the Government got rich on borrowed money.. hehe.
4. And his suggestions. ‘i) reducing the rufiyaa in circulation’ that is done when the economy is overheating due to too rapid growth – hardly the situations we are in.
However I like his suggestion ‘ii) increasing the dollar revenue the country earns’ But who does not know that in Maldives.. hellow ??????
Finally I admire and respect Mr. Imran for the article. But some of the blind praise seems naïve and sickening.. and that is my point here. technically this is a very average article with lots of holes and inconsistencies BUT written in plain English - Something that economists usually do not do.
Wasn’t it blind praise that kept a Dictator in power for 30 years… have we forgotten this… dammn
Gud one herd of sheep.
Imran, The point is if Maldives is like any other country what you are saying may be relevant.
But Maldives has always been unique. You spend what u earn and you never save except for a holiday. So no matter what you earn its going to be spend and if saving it will be spend mostly outside maldives. By droping the rate to 15.42 the country is going to collapse as common people's disposable income is going to be far more less than you can imagine. Thats predicting a sudden increase in cost of transport, oil,cooking gas, food cost, clothings, printings, packing materials, water, electricity and the list goes on. The goverment will not increase the salaries anymore and where is the common people gonna find more money to pay for just the basic.
A better approach is to keep the dolar value fixed at a slightly lower rate like 13.75 and introduce mechanism to force people to sped loccally more and spend less outside Maldives. That is bringing down food prices by removing tax on necessity food item and goods that facilitate on sustaining food chain etc, encourage pension and savings etn by giving more profit/int for saving in banks.
What is going to happen now is more people will not to keep their dollars in a bank any more, more people gonna keep $ and tey not to sell them. and they would prefer to go overseas to purchase their stuff as the prices are too much to bear in Maldives. Goods prices in Maldives are not controlled ...business man puts a tag as he wish and not as 20% mark up cost of goods sold. So introducing a economic plans as per other counntries will never work in maldives. Wake up and come up with unique measures for Maldives
wow her of sheep. excellent observations, to say the least.
Hilath calls in hib blog this article "the ONLY useful article I found WORTH READING over the past SEVERAL years!"
Great article Ali Imraan.
if government won't remove bank restriction.this economy going deep sea..........
nobody ready to sell the dollars at banks.bcz black market they will get higher than bank rate.so again rufiyaa devalue.............
@herd of sheep
There are few intellectuals here, mostly ordinary people. While it's good that you think for yourself, allow me to point out some holes is your argument against the authors opinion.
1) You mock him because he suggests the devaluation was needed. I agree with you that a lower valued a currency of a country, the higher the value of exports. Large exporters like China constantly intervene to keep the value of their currencies low, however you have not considered the reason for his suggestion. The reason devaluation was forced upon the govt was that the currency was just not worth the pegged rate. If we could just print money without consequences we would all be millionaires (as you already know). Without the de-valuation we would have had a good chance of runaway inflation Zimbabwe style. Rufiya would not be worth the paper it's printed on.
2) Maldivian economy was indeed Rufiya based and our biggest employer was the Govt. and of course the increased salaries for all civil servants ensured a higher purchasing power parity than would have been if things were left to the market forces. The problem with this was people used the Rufiya they had to buy up all goods which were paid for in US$. To bring more goods more $'s were needed, after several cycles of import and consumption the $'s were becoming scarcer by the day. This created the black market, which in fact exposed the true worth of MRF.
3) He discussed the detriment not the benefits of printing money. Your prejudiced eye clearly missed that point.
4)He suggests to reduce Rufiya in circulation not because of an 'over heating economy' but to establish the true equilibrium. The Rufiya in circulation should match the $'s earned through export of goods and services.
While its admirable of you to actually think for yourself, I suggest you come to the table with an open mind. You seem to have criticized for the sake of criticism.
Why nobody is trying to think about cutting unnecessary imports,which will eventually bring down dollar spending. Eg- Cut down import of so many bottled drinks,cakes and confectionaries. This will help maintain health also. 2nd thing is to try and encourage chicken poultry,which will ease spending dollars on chicken and eggs,and also provide fresh chicken and eggs..also can have a try at dairy farming..These are few things to try. If packed cakes import is stopped,it will encourage locals to make different cakes and sweets to sell. Follow traditional food habits,and live healthy,and save economy
Director of Structured Finance at the Royal Bank of Scotland?
I work at RBS and there is no such person.
what an elegant, thought-provoking and intelligent article. im crying. i finally see the truth. im getting 1000000 copies of this article printed so i can swim in it.
@Herd of Sheep
You're right - not sure I agree with Hilath and many other commentators about whether this is the only useful article worth reading!!
However, you also seem to misunderstand some of what Imraan is saying:
1. A devaluation was needed not because of export pricing - but because the existing situation of an artifical exchange rate when increase in MRF greater than increase in $ in the country had happened over 4 years.
2. Technically we were growing by introducing more MRF into the economy. Economic theory tells us that an increase in money supply would spur growth - and given that we kept a fixed exchange rate (primarily by borrowing USD) - this resulted in both a nominal and a REAL growth rate because inflation is delayed. Of course, when the supply of USD ran out, inflation picked up and we are now realising that real growth rate will slow. So even though the growth was not sustainable - it was still growth. So your points 2&3 are not true.
3. Actually, even though we talk about the country being in a depression - economic activity as measured by the demand for dollars at 12.85 did not imply that. Decreasing money supply is not just for when an economy is overheating but also when the economy has an exchange rate imbalance - which is what we had.
4. However your last point - I couldn't agree with you more. Imraan's article was a bit vague on specific solutions to the problem - but had he done that - this would be too long. Ultimately it gives us a framework for all of us amateur economists out there as to what exactly we need to focus on.
So we need to spend less, save more, and find additional sources of economic activity to bring in foreign currency into the economy.
Ironically, the devaluation will (more than anything else) allow this to happen. The $ is now worth more in terms of the MRF - so just like anything else whose value increases - people will think twice about spending it and work twice as hard to earn it.
What about all the proud talk about the increasing arrival of tourists and good resorts.... But when it comes to dollars, poor people are made to take the brunt with instant devaluation of their wealth by 20%.
And we are taking about less than 100 million dollars a month.. a fraction of the combined bar sales of resorts.. This is not about lack of dollars.. its murder due to inaction of MMA
Imran, you should do a follow-up piece.
@herd of sheep>
Since you know so much...why dont you enlighten us.
Imran was trying to give out a solution of what he thinks is right.
Why dont you give us your solutions without any holes to poke into
this article should have its own section on Minivannews. titled 'The Most Loved Article'
i want to marry this article.
Imran, could you please write a 4-stanza poem on the maldivian economy. if you could also illustrate it.
thank you, sir. my best regards to Queen Elizabeth.
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