'Maldives economy expected to recover by 2023': World Bank

The World Bank has said the Maldives' economy is expected to recover to pre-COVID-19 levels by 2023.

The Economy Outlook published by the World Bank said the real GDP of the Maldives is projected to grow by 22.3 percent this year. This is possible if the Maldives welcomes at least 1.1 million tourists this year, double the amount recorded last year and 65 percent of 2019 levels, the report said. The Tourism Ministry has said 1.3 million tourists are expected to visit the Maldives this year.

The World Bank further said the economy is expected to grow by 11 percent if the number of tourist arrivals continue to pick up as global travel normalizes. The poverty rate is expected to decline to 9.1 percent in 2021 and subsequently to 4.3% by 2023.

The World Bank's Country Director to the Maldives, Faris Hadad-Zervos said the Maldives needs to strengthen its finances in preparation for disasters and catastrophes. The Maldives must work to decrease debt and increase economic growth, he said.

The Finance Ministry has also predicted that the Maldives' economy will recover in 2023.