Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail stated that the Maldives will take approximately 2 years, to recover from the downfalls faced by the country and to return to the normal economic trends reflected in 2019.
Minister highlights that the upcoming 6 to 8 months will be of extreme struggles as the economy of the country has come to an unrevivable stage. Prior to the challenges faced by the ongoing global pandemic, Maldives has estimated economic growth of 7.5%. However, this amount is now expected to decrease by -11% during the course of time.
“The major challenge faced by us globally now is that we are unsure of what COVID-19 will bring next. This disease is in the spread, across the major markets. That includes the Maldives as well. Until a successful vaccine is developed and taken, economic struggles are guaranteed. Numerous businesses have bankrupted due to the border closing and lockdown,” said the minister. “This is the situation of the first world countries and third world countries. So, when will the people start vacations and travelling again? Once they get employed! I believe that the next 6-8 months will be extremely challenging”.
“Maldives Will Return to its Normal Economic Phase by 2020”
According to Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail, Maldives will return to a normal economic phase in a duration of 2 years – 2022. Minister stressed that the challenges of the pandemic are being experienced by the whole globe, thus the income generated from dollars and other activities has been limited to a huge extent.
“It is because we don’t have many tourists visiting the country. Until July 2019, a million tourists visited the country. This year, however, only a handful of 2700 tourists visited the Maldives after the re-opening of the border”, said the minister.
He further reflected on the tourism industry stating that the majority of the Maldivian economy depended on tourism, and it will be difficult to suddenly develop other sectors in the Maldives.
“Unavailability of a Reserve is Further Challenging”
As stated by the Economic Minister, the main obstacle experienced by the country in maintaining the economy is that the country does not uphold a ‘reserve’ for the development of other sectors and businesses.
“It is an obstacle to not have the finance for the maintenance of businesses, it is an obstacle to not have the capacity to fulfil the basic necessities of the citizens. These were left undone from the first day itself. Even now, among the 150 islands, one within water and sewerage facility is missing. 60 islands do not have sewerage facilities while more than 60 islands do not have access to clean water. We aim to work on these issues more ambitiously than the previous administrations. In Sha Allah, these works will be carried out effectively.”
“Difficulties are posed in acquiring loans”
Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail claims that difficulties are also posed when it comes serving the nation with the assistance of acquired loans.
Minister states that taking loans apply international standards and conditions, and as the G.D.P goes down, the value of loans also increases. Due to these obstacles, it becomes more challenging to acquire loans, stated minister Fayyaz.