UN “ignored Maldives’ vulnerability” in decision to graduate country, Ambassador tells WTO

The Maldives has appealed to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to soften the impact of the country’s graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC) to middle income status.

The Maldives will graduate on January 1, 2011, and lose access to both concessional credit, certain trade concessions, and some of the foreign aid upon which aspects of the country – such as civil society – have historically depended on for both skills and financial support.

The country’s Permanent Representative to the WTO, Iruthisham Adam, told the organisation’s general council that while the Maldives welcome the graduation as a “positive
step in the country’s development”, the country would nonetheless “continue to require special treatment and support from international partners.”

The Maldives ,said Ambassador Adam, remained ”acutely vulnerable at economic, commercial and environmental levels” and would therefore require “certain flexibilities”, particularly in regards to trade.

The UN had “ignored the issue of vulnerability” in its decision to graduate the Maldives from the list of LDC countries “on the basis of its strong socio-economic development over recent decades.”

She noted that the Maldives will be the first member of the WTO to graduate and suffer the deprivations attached to loss of LDC trade concessions.

A World Bank Economic Update Report released last month showed a per capita Gross Net Income (GNI) for the country of US$4090 for 2010, up from US$3690 last year.

However it noted that fiscal consolidation – reigning in the ballooning budget deficit with austerity measures and the introduction of taxation on business profits – “remains the foremost challenge in the coming years”.

“A less destructive political climate” will be needed to maintain recent positive developments, the World Bank cautions.

“Despite having posted better-than-expected fiscal results in the first half of the year, the country will be hard-pressed to sustain this in the medium term.”

Minivan News understands that the government will be announcing its plans later this week for mitigating the impact of the graduation.

State Minister for Finance Ahmed Assad has previously told Minivan News that while the government has included the graduation in its financial predictions, the Finance Ministry had banked on the Majlis passing the tax bill by June 2010.

“Some people say [the graduation] will increase borrowing capacity and give us more independence,” Assad said. “But like becoming an adult, it means taking on both freedom and responsibilities.”

An internal report by the World Bank, obtained by Minivan News in May, revealed that the doubling of spending on state salaries in 2007-09 crippled the country’s economy, and left the Maldives “facing the most challenging macroeconomic situation of any democratic transitions that has occurred since 1956.”

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7 thoughts on “UN “ignored Maldives’ vulnerability” in decision to graduate country, Ambassador tells WTO”

  1. Oh. I thought we were already a EU nation with lots of money and excellent GDP.

    One never can tell. We see rise of beardees who claims that we do not need external assistance to get the nation into heaven, where girls, and wine flow endlessly. With big screen tv's and anything that u desire awaits. But, I wonder who are the movie makers? Hollywood and Hollywood are now allowed because they are infidels! Oh shucks! I would not see Angelina Jolie!

    In any case it takes a real slap on your face to realize truth. And there are a lot of faces in Maldives that need reminding of our condition.
    We r a small village living in a place god planned for marine birds. Even the un ignores us when they can.

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  2. @ Addu

    "Why should UN treat us specially when we can run our economy with one resort and a laptop."

    *applaud*

    Bravo! What a comment!

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  3. C'mon UN, promote us. For how long can we be finger sucking babies. Its time we also learn to take some responsibilities and learn to do things on our own. Its time for is to stop begging.

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  4. Sounds like we are harping on the old strings. Maumoon got a brilliant excuse with the Tsunami to make a last shot at development and aid funding. And we are still talking about the same thing.

    Maldives sounds like a child who is scared to grow or never wants to grow. Maldives needs to be pushed out like the little bird-ling so it will learn to fly. UN is now to blamed for ignoring vulnerable poor Maldives.

    Maldives will also be vulnerable one way or another but that does not mean it should hold us back.

    Dear Iruthisham. How do you measure this when you simply state it is a positive step in the country's development when the rest of what you say is "not positive".

    I am sure UN has done the necessary reviews in reaching its decision, identified gaps Maldives now needs to address and would continue supporting Maldives to make the next and more focused steps in developing this country.

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  5. wot un an mn sn fn tn ln bn blah blah blah....find the 100 dollar bill printing machine and start printing for god sake...every one else does it...y we have to b scientists to boost our economy...all monkeys r doing it without a single drop of sweat...grow up u all if u dont wanna take responsibility atleast find a better alternative than begging will ya!!!

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