President Yameen on economic offensive in Japan

President Abdulla Yameen has held meetings with prominent businessmen, economists, and industrialists during his current state visit to Japan.

Yameen has held meetings with the senior figures at the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Japan International Cooperation (JICA), as well as tourism and business leaders – including the president of the Hitachi company.

The second day of the president’s visit also saw a meeting with Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs Yoshitaka Shindo, with the prospect of a Japanese embassy in the Maldives being discussed.

In his meeting with the JICA governor Hiroshi Watanabe, Yameen discussed means of obtaining funds for various development projects in the Maldives. The president broached the subjects of financial assistance for the Maldives airport development project, as well as a project to be focused on the island of Ihavandhihpolhu.

He further thanked the Senior Vice President of JICA Hidiaki Domicia for the assistance that JICA has extended in the implementation of projects in the Maldives under the aid of the Japanese government.

As the coordinating body of Japan’s overseas development assistance, JICA oversaw projects worth US$450 million to the Maldives in development assistance between 2004 and 2010.

Projects benefiting from Japanese aid have included the first mechanisation of fishing vessels between 1973-76, the development of Malé’s seawall between 1987-2003, and the extension of loans amounting to US$34 million for post-tsunami reconstruction.

During a meeting with Hitachi’s President Toshiaki Higashihara yesterday, Yameen thanked the company for its cooperation with the State Trading Organisation and for its interest in energy-related projects in the Maldives.

Investment opportunities

Yameen also met with leaders of the Japanese tourism industry, including senior officials from travel agencies, travel publications, tour guides, and the media.

After providing information about current tourism development projects in the country, Yameen noted that the Maldives’ global recognition as a high level tourist destination made it one of the most beneficial areas in which foreign businesses can invest.

The president also noted the need for foreign assistance to further develop the tourism sector, reasserting that the current atmosphere in the country is peaceful after some political turbulence at the time of his taking office.

Yameen assured investors that the Maldives is currently in the collective mindset of overcoming differences, maintaining peace, and promoting development.

President Yameen also attended a forum titled ‘Maldives Investment Promotion Forum’ – organised by the Japan External Trade Organisation, and attended by senior businessmen of the country.

Thanking investors for their interest in the country, Yameen provided details of investment opportunities currently available in the Maldives.

According to the President’s Office website, he highlighted that the current government’s intention to introduce numerous incentives for foreign investors in a bid to further strengthen the country’s economy.

Earlier this month, Yameen revealed that legislation will be proposed during the next parliament which will create special economic zones, will he feels will be “likened to cities in Dubai or the Emirates”.

The new laws would enable investors to have “freeholds” in the country and allow investors “to engage in really, really long gestative projects,” he told investors.

“What we would like to confirm for the foreign investors who come to the Maldives is that foreign investors should feel that Maldives is your second home here.”

“We are going to open up the Maldives in a huge way to foreign investors. Our thirst cannot be quenched. The opportunity to foreign investors is going to be enormous. So have faith and trust in us,” Yameen said.

The president has continued to outline future investment opportunities in the country to Japanese investors this week.

The areas he mentioned include the handling of incidents that arise due to natural disasters, environmental protection, education, health, youth empowerment, sports, agriculture, human resources, security, and infrastructure development.

Together with President Yameen, Minister of Economic Development Mohamed Saeed, and Minister of Tourism Ahmed Adeeb also attended the investment promotion forum.


11 thoughts on “President Yameen on economic offensive in Japan”

  1. yeah, yeah, second home until one day the investors get kicked out with slogans like "Maldives for Maldivians...".

    Nice try.

  2. Yameen spends half his time asking for handouts and investments from other countries but he ran for presidency on a platform of xenophobia.

  3. Maldives needs to articulate a holistic economic model. This includes limiting economic managers terms in civil service to say 2 years. Otherwise the focus will continue to be to stay in the job rather than being dynamic

    This simple fact needs to be acknowledged. Japan also rotates their economic managers frequently among ministries

  4. Yameen is seeking Japanese assistance like his brother Algeen sought assistance from Japan; pocketed it, and had Judge Abdulla Mohamed claim there was no proof that the funds came from Japan! Where is MDP? Why is it not informing the Japanese media that Yameen is Algeen's brother and that the latter had ripped off Japanese taxpayer's monies?

  5. The Japanese aren't fools. They know who ate their money. Japan usually do not hand out cash in their aid packages. It's usually given in kind and the Japanese also oversee the management of those projects, which is the most sensible way to do that in 3rd world countries such as our corrupt country.

    For example, if cash was handed out for the Male sea wall, or the forerunner to Dhiraagu, there'd be just a few stones around Male now and a coke can and a string for communications. Thank Allah that Japan actually didn't hand out any cash.

    You have to remember that Japan is undergoing a massive transformation in its foreign policy, partly driven by fear of the Chinese. This is why Japan is reaching out to countries far and wide, in order to strengthen its geopolitical influence. The Japanese are smart. A Mundhu and a Yameen cannot pull a fast one over them.

  6. @Buruma Qasim

    Because MDP fears conflict.

    Until we the people learn to accept war as the only path to liberty, we will always be slaves.

  7. So much for an economic offensive. No investment announced by Japanese, no loans assigned, no aid assigned, not even an MOU signed. All announcements coming from Yameen himself. Even I could perform as well as him in "attracting" investment and aid.

  8. Virendra. You idiots can shout about GMR and we will build our airport without a cent from GMR and you will cry about that.

    Now GMR had done again a dodgy deal in Cebu and Cebu people are shouting about it.

    GMR is a well known corrupted company and they business model is based on corruption .

    You will see our airport get developed in 2 years and you will see our airport ranks similar to Changi airport but with a smaller in sizes.

  9. Hero, corrupt politicians aren't considered people.

    You guys will have to pay reparations. Maybe an atoll. Ha ha!

  10. After the illegal and unethical termination of GMR's contract, I cannot see the Japanese, Singaporeans or Arabs falling over themselves to invest in the Maldives.....certainly no Indian company will do so now.
    President Yameen has basically damaged your economic prospects for years to come.....well done Mr President.....Sir!
    Now India should ban the export of foodstuffs, medicines, building materials and drinking water.....very soon it will be goodbye Maldives hello Somalia!!
    Be ever grateful for all the aid from the kuffars of India.

  11. Can't wait for the Changi Airport lookalike in Male. Hopefully the toilets at least will be as good as Changi.
    Incidentally New Delhi's terminal 2 cost 3.2 BILLION DOLLARS and Mumbai's terminal 2 cost 2.2 BILLION will have to sell your mothers to raise that kind of dough poppets.


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