President speaks at China-Eurasia Expo

President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan has spoken at the opening of the opening of the 2nd China-Eurasia Expo & the 2nd China-Eurasia Economy Development and Cooperation Forum, as part of his official state visit to the country.

“As China continues to make great strides in the various facets of its development, it has indeed become an outstanding example of the good international citizen,” said Waheed.

“The Maldives has always looked to China as an invaluable friend. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year, the contribution from China to the social, cultural and economic development of our country is immense and numerous.”

“For over two decades, China has supported housing development in the Maldives, along with other infrastructure projects. The support towards promoting athletics and other sports as well as cultural cooperation is noteworthy.”

“We recognize China as one of the leading economic powers globally, and we are keen to strengthen our relationship with the country. Maldives has always promoted an open economy with liberal trade and investment policies. We are happy to note that we maintain one of the most liberal trade regimes in the SAARC region.”

“To further strengthen our investment policies, the Government is taking steps to further improve the legal and regulatory framework governing private sector growth and foreign direct investments. Maldives is open for business and it is with pleasure that I note, companies from China are already involved in Maldives.”

“I call upon potential investors to consider Maldives as an attractive investment destination in addition to a popular tourist destination. Potential opportunities are available in real estate development, especially residential and mixed development projects, public infrastructure projects as well as investments in the tourism sector.”

The President’s Office has reported that Waheed is scheduled to meet Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, who was also present at yesterday’s opening ceremony.

Also in attendance was the President of Krygyzstan, and the Prime Minister’s of Kazakhstan, Cambodia and Tajikistan

Before leaving, the President also announced that he expected to finalise arrangements for a $500 million loan from the Chinese government. Local media has today confirmed that an agreement has been signed.