“Yonder lies the greener pastures”: President Yameen inaugurates investor forum in Singapore

President Abdulla Yameen inaugurated the Maldives Investment Forum at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands today with assurances to potential investors of the government’s commitment to fostering a business-friendly environment.

In his keynote address at the event, President Yameen said his administration was “cognisant of the needs of our investors and the requirements to strengthen and redefine the legal and regulatory environment governing foreign investments.”

“To address investment climate and to facilitate mega investments with attractive incentive packages, a Special Economic Zone Bill will be tabled in the parliament soon. Additionally, the Foreign Investment Act and Companies Act are being revised to cater the ever increasing needs of the modern foreign investors,” he said.

“Investment registration and facilitation has also been strengthened recently, with structuring of Invest Maldives as a one-stop shop for investment promotion, registration and facilitation.”

Over 160 companies and close to 200 representatives from 16 countries were present at the first overseas investor forum organised by the Maldives, Yameen noted, expressing gratitude for the “overwhelming support received for this forum.”

The new government has “embarked on an ambitious economic agenda to transform the economy” with the goal of becoming “a resilient, diversified high income economy in the next decade,” the president said.

He added that the government was committed to exploring “openings for increasing foreign investment flows to non-traditional sectors to lift Maldives beyond the image of a picturesque postcard.”

Yameen suggested that the success of the tourism industry over the past 40 years was due to “ingenuity, private enterprise and a liberal policy environment for foreign investments”.


The projects for which the government was seeking investors were “designed to position Maldives to take advantage of its strategic location as a hub and gateway for commerce, innovation and creativity, linking rest of the globe with South Asia,” he explained.

Briefing participants on the five mega-projects envisioned by the government, Yameen said that the Ihavandhippolhu Integrated Development Project or iHavan “provides immense potential to capture substantive share of the trade and commercial opportunities in the South Indian Ocean and capture the trade flows crossing the seven degree channel.”

The government hoped to “engage private investors in the delivery of key pieces of infrastructure,” he said.

The other mega-projects or infrastructure development plans were concentrated in the Greater Male’ region, Yameen noted, which included the Hulhumale’ Youth City with further land reclamation and a maritime seaport project.

“With these investments, we foresee the region surrounding the Male’ City emerging as a vibrant commercial hub in the region,” he said.

The other mega-projects include the expansion of the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA), relocation and expansion of the central port to Thilafushi, and exploration for oil and gas.

Concluding his remarks, Yameen thanked foreign investors and senior businessmen from the Maldives for their “support and presence” at the forum, which gave the government “comfort and confidence” in its economic and trade policies.

Yameen said he hoped the forum would serve as “an avenue for enhancing understanding of the investment environment and opportunities in Maldives.”

He went on to congratulate Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed and his team for organising the forum and expressed gratitude to the key sponsors.

“Yonder lies the greener pastures,” he concluded by saying.

Yameen’s remarks were followed by presentations on the five mega-projects, a question and answer session with government ministers and speeches by Stephen Ho, President of Starwood Asia Pacific, Akhil Gupta, Chairman of Blackstone India, and William Ellwood Heinecke, CEO of Minor International.

President Yameen also launched the new Invest Maldives website at the forum this morning.

In his speech at the inauguration ceremony, Economic Development Minister Saeed revealed that the government was planning to hold a second investor forum in Shanghai, “the commercial capital of China.”

Moreover, at a press conference held at the forum, Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb reportedly revealed that the government has decided to lease islands for resort development for 99 years instead of the 50-year lease period at present.

Legislation will be submitted to parliament to authorise the extension, he said, which was intended to gain investor confidence.

Meanwhile, prior to departing for Singapore yesterday, President Yameen told the press that the government was certain it would have to compensate Indian infrastructure giant GMR for the premature termination of the concession agreement to develop and manage INIA.

Earlier this month, Yameen had said that the out-of-court settlement sought by GMR was too high, and that he would now await the outcome of arbitration proceedings in Singapore, which could take up to another two months.

The US$511 million contract awarded by the administration of former President Mohamed Nasheed was the single largest foreign direct investment in the Maldives’ history.


8 thoughts on ““Yonder lies the greener pastures”: President Yameen inaugurates investor forum in Singapore”

  1. ...hope the 'yonder green pastures' is more than grass and weed - smokable or not.

    Good luck

  2. This is a guy I can put my faith in when he talks of economic development. Goodluck Mr. President

  3. Let's wait see the quality of the strategist.

    I hope he manages the camels.

    It's all about balancing. Now I expect, antagonists would start squeezing the camels cohones to enflame them to come up with another utterly baseless 'for the religion' rally.

    The camels need such rallies, just as humans need water. Without that lust for blood, the camels would not have and literally not know anything else to do.

  4. I do hope that the copyright owners of the images used on the Invest Maldives website were fully compensated! What's the Gherkin building doing on that website? What's the relevance to the Maldives? If I was an investor I'd be raising more than just eyebrows...

    As @smoker said, the only grass you'll find around here is the smoking variety! It's also laughable that Yameen talks about strengthening the legal framework here. The same man, only recently said that the country's justices and legal framework is stellar! You can't have it both ways. Investors aren't that gullible are they?

  5. The real Hero (he holds high position in resorts,formerly of TEAM) says otherwise,Yamin the master strategist increased the allowance to 5000 when my basic salary as a civil servant is less that that

  6. You don’t get investor confidence by throwing out people after inviting them by one government. The example set by you is not an encouragement for foreign investment. If you sign a contract what is the guarantee the fellow next will honor your signature. You look like con artist to trap people in to your scam, but one thing is sure you can dupe your gullible countrymen. There will be no mega foreign investment under a government who came to power under the banners of religious and nationalist zealots. Do you think anyone with sense will risk his life in ape planet I am sure, the Maldivian will remain as apes for another 30 years with what happened in the last five years?

  7. Assalaam Alaikum, Dhiyaa Hakuru, I am an attorney representing several groups of apes who feel that they are being discriminated against by your statements. Please listen to these statements and please consider withdrawing your statements.

    "Hoohoohaahaahee keekee haa ahaa huuu!"
    Translation: We may be apes, but we don't have an adulterer for a judge!

    Translation: Hey, cmon. We're chill people, so don't compare us to corrupt Maldivian businessmen.

    I hope you consider my humble request.


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