US$ 1.6 bln assured through Partnership Forum

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid on Tuesday stated that investments worth US$ 1.6 billion were assured for 70 development projects presented at the Maldives Partnership Forum.

Speaking at the press conference following the conclusion of the two-day forum held at Kurumb Maldives, Minister Shahid said the forum was very successful.

"The government now has the confidence that these 70 projects can be implemented, and the citizens of the country would benefit from it. The international community has accepted [the proposals]. We have been assured that the [international community] is committed to join hands with the people of Maldives to bring about the vision of a 'Jazeera Raajje'', he said.

The proposals presented by the government at the forum sought to secure funds amounting to approximately US$ 1.6 billion.

Answering a questioned posed by AVAS at the press conference, Minister Shahid said if the project were to be added up numerically, it would come close to US$ 1.6 billion

"If we were to put a monetary value on the projects, it would reach around that [US$1.6 billion]. Today. we have received assurance that the projects can be implemented within five years", he said.

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer said during the forum several questions were asked by potential investors regarding the Maldivian economy, to which the government provided clear answers.

'Several participant of the Partnership Forum raised many points. We are in the midst of bringing changes. The fiscal affars of the whole nation can be clearly seen on a weekly basis. The debt amount can be seen. We acknowledge and accept that there are issues. We are working on addressing and resolving these issues", said Minister Ameer.

Minister Ameer said while the previously government was all talk, the current government is all about action and implementation.

"The Maldivian Company Laws were made in the 70's. Therefore, we will be bringing changes to laws on foreign direct investment and the decentralization act. We have previously noted that an arbitration will be established. We are also in the process of drafting a National Development Plan", said Ameer.

A total of 135 participants from 62 delegations attended the partnership forum.