President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has said that Maldives remain an open and valued player in the global economy.
In a statement released by the President’s Office, he said that Maldives should be afforded the ability to expand the economy to propel more people towards middle income status. The statement said that President Yameen’s Administration remains open to opposing views on economic matters and hope such views will keep sight of the value of the Maldives remaining an open, dynamic and proactive player in South Asia.
“Rather than bitter and baseless partisan chastising; we strive to be celebrated for seeking to bring development to our islands and we call on the larger international community to ignore rhetoric and to celebrate further the steps being taken to meet our ambitious fiscal targets and bring meaningful change to these shores and to the Maldivian people,” the statement said.
In reference to the plans to develop Faafu atoll, and other regions of the country, the statement highlighted the Government of Maldives’ focus on delivering positive outcomes for Maldives and its people. Defending its decision to negotiate major investment deals with foreign partners, as part of its wider development plans for the nation, the statement said that foreign investment is not out of the ordinary in this region, or for that matter anywhere else.
“The Maldives continues to attract investment across multiple sectors from North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. To criticise the nation for reaching out to investors demonstrates troubling double standards,” the statement said.
No Maldivian atolls are being sold and the Administration reasserts its point, made by President Yameen on March 2nd, that any development of Faafu Atoll is part of a wider, multifaceted program to finance a major, multibillion dollar investment project encompassing mixed development, residential and high class development, and several tourist resorts and airports, according to the President’s Office. The statement also said that President Yameen’s Administration categorically rebuts allegations that the atoll has been ‘sold off’ to a foreign entity. However, in the statement, the Administration did acknowledge working hard with a range of international investors with the aim of ensuring its economic development agenda which continues to deliver.
The statement noted that all infrastructure projects strictly adhere to regulations and boundaries set out by the Maldivian constitution and the projects also respect environmental legislation that ensures developments of any type respect the fragile ecosystem that encompasses the archipelago. Maldivian planning laws remain some of the strictest in the world, the statement further added.