Gov’t Reports Progress in Stabilizing Dollar Exchange Rate

Mohamed Saeed, Maldives’ Minister of Economic Development and Trade, has announced progress in stabilizing the nation’s dollar exchange rate. Minister Saeed attributes this improvement to strategic measures implemented under the guidance of President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. He notes a significant turnaround in the Maldives’ economic condition since the current administration assumed office, with notable improvements visible since November of last year.

“Despite ongoing high demand for foreign currency, particularly due to the Umrah pilgrimages and increased imports during Ramadan, the dollar rate has remained stable or even decreased,” Minister Saeed stated. He emphasized that this achievement stems from proactive measures, such as discontinuing public account overdraws, initiated under the President’s direction.

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“Our focus now shifts to targeted, planned efforts for the future. We expect further improvements in the dollar rate in the near term,” the Minister added.

A key element of the government’s strategy involves boosting foreign currency inflows. Minister Saeed highlighted a recent agreement with the international energy trader, Vitol, to establish bunkering operations in the northern atoll of Ihavandhippolhu (Haa Alif). This initiative, facilitated by the State Trading Organization (STO), aims to diversify the Maldivian economy beyond its reliance on tourism.

The announcement builds upon Minister’s earlier pledge to initiate bunkering services in Ihavandhippolhu by July, as expressed during a recent visit to the atoll.

Last December, the government ceased the practice of printing large sums of currency to finance state expenditures. A comprehensive fiscal reform agenda was subsequently introduced to manage costs and address debts. This agenda, commended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), includes strategies to curtail unnecessary spending, such as reducing lavish ceremonies and overseas travel.

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