President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih echoed the forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the Maldives would be amongst the top five fastest-growing economies in 2022.
In his annual address to Parliament, President Solih shared the administration’s vision of increasing the country’s GDP by 12 per cent, and attracting over 1.6 million visitors this year. GDP in 2021 is expected to be between 31.6 and 38.5 per cent, which is higher than the IMF and World Bank forecast.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maldives’ economy slumped by an estimated 33.5 per cent in 2020 compared to the previous year, the highest downfall since economic record-keeping began in the country. However, with the administration’s swift and effective measures, positive results were seen last year, including surpassing the one million target of tourist arrivals by attracting over 1.3 million travellers.
The President also highlighted the financial situation of the country. Moreover, Maldives received a foreign currency swap of USD 250 million in July 2019 from the Reserve Bank of India. President Solih revealed today that it was repaid on December 29, 2021, and he also added that USD 447 million in debt incurred by the previous government was paid off last year. At the end of 2021, the state reserve stood at USD 791.2 million.
President Solih also spoke about the implementation of the minimum wage, officially introduced in November 2021, something which he described as having a positive effect on the lives of thousands of staff in all economic sectors.