ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao met with Maldives President Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Speaker of the Parliament Mr. Mohamed Nasheed, Finance Minister and ADB Governor Mr. Ibrahim Ameer, and other senior officials on August 26th 2019 during a 2-day visit in which he committed to strong ADB assistance to the country.

ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao (left) with Maldives President Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solihduring a meeting on August 26th 2019. 

Mr. Nakao noted that economic growth in Maldives over the past 5 years has been robust, averaging 6.4%. ADB forecasts gross domestic product (GDP) growth to maintain an average of 6.4% during 2019–2020 on the back of continued expansion of tourism and construction.

Maldives attained upper middle-income status in 2010. The country’s GDP per capita reached USD10,449 in 2018, up from an estimated USD200 in 1978. Life expectancy is now more than 78 years, and the literacy rate is almost 100%.

"I commend the government for Maldives’ remarkable economic and social progress over the last few decades,” Mr. Nakao said. "ADB reaffirms its support to help address the country’s key development challenges, which include a dispersed population spread over several islands, a narrow economic base, and vulnerability to climate change.”

Mr. Nakao advised that the government needs to exercise fiscal prudence in light of the country’s weakened fiscal and external position and increasing debt. Maldives’ fiscal and external current account deficits have widened to 5.5% of GDP and 25% of GDP, respectively, while debt levels have risen, reaching 72.1% of GDP in 2018.

Under its country operations business plan for 2020–2022, ADB will continue to invest in climate-friendly infrastructure, including a waste-to-energy facility in Thilafushi and a liquefied natural gas project, with an indicative cumulative assistance amount of almost USD120 million.

ADB has been supporting the Government of Maldives since 1978 when it became a member. Over those more than 40 years, ADB has committed loans, grants, and equity investments in the amount of USD277 million and technical assistance worth USD29 million. These were to support energy, including renewable, harbors, development of the Maldives National University, and small and medium-sized enterprise finance. This year, ADB has committed USD10 million for the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation National Single Window Project to support improvement in international trade procedures using a unified information and communications technology portal.

Mr. Nakao visited Malé North Harbor supported by ADB’s Domestic Maritime Transportation Project, which was designed to increase harbor capacity, and the State Electric Company Limited power plant supported by ADB’s Third Power System Development Project, which extended power generation and distribution in Malé. He also visited the Greater Malé Environmental Improvement and Waste Management Project in Thilafushi, which is establishing modern waste management systems.

Tomorrow, Mr. Nakao is scheduled to take part in the High-Level Policy Dialogue at the Resilient Atoll Nations in Productive Oceans Conference, supported and financed by ADB. The 3-day event on August 27th - 29th brings together experts and high-level government officials from the four atoll nations—Kiribati, Maldives, the Marshall Islands, and Tuvalu—to share experiences on managing disasters and adapting to climate change./.

                                                                               Source: CPV

Related Topics

Removing “bottlenecks” in global problems

The Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the world’s leading developed and emerging economies (G20) recently held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil emphasised the need to reform global governance institutions, especially the United Nations Security Council. The meeting is also an opportunity for G20 to find solutions to a series of hot issues facing the world, such as poverty, climate change, and conflict.

ASEAN FMs issue statement on maintaining, promoting stability in maritime sphere in Southeast Asia

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers on December 30 issued a statement on maintaining and promoting stability in the maritime sphere in Southeast Asia.

Optimistic signals of the world economy

The world economy has overcome a challenging year, but has proven more resilient than expected. The Financial Times (UK) commented that 2023 was a positive year for the world economy as the economic surprise index collated by Citigroup shew that actual data have underwhelmed economists’ predictions for much of the past months. These economic trends are the basis for optimism about the world economy in 2024.

Laos announces theme, logo of ASEAN Chairmanship 2024

Laos has announced the theme and logo for its the Chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2024.

Vietnam elected Vice President of UNESCO General Conference

Vietnam was elected a Vice President of the 42nd session of the UNESCO’s General Conference, representing the Asia-Pacific, on November 8.

Safe and responsible use of AI promoted

Since the "blockbuster" ChatGPT was launched a year ago, the prospects for the development of artificial intelligence (AI), as well as concerns about the risks from this technology, have become hot topics in the technology world.