Maldives has appealed to the United States for assistance in extending the loan repayment period for countries that received financial aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, including commercial loans to small nations.
Speaking at a press conference held at Sheraton Maldives to honour the official visit of Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State of the United States, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid stated that the Maldives has taken part in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) in order to extend the loan repayment period on loans provided by the G20 countries to developing countries.
Shahid also revealed that an official appeal has been made for an extension on repayment of loans received by the government along with guarantees till the end of next year.
Furthermore, Shahid revealed that he sought assistance from the United States during official discussions with Mark Pompeo in order to include private creditors while extending the loan repayment period.
Maldives has been calling for an extension on the loan repayment period till the end of 2021 for the loans received by the developing small countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the government works towards further extending the loan repayment period, the loan amount is more than the assumed net revenue for the upcoming year. According to the statistics, Maldives will make approximately MVR 17.5 billion in 2021 while the debts reach up to MVR 20.1 billion. That is MVR 2.5 billion more than the net revenue estimated for the year.
During Pompeo’s visit to the Maldives, he also met with President Ibrahim Solih. Several discussions were made during the meeting with regards to ways to strengthen the relationship between both United States and Maldives, including ways to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the countries, trade and investments and more.
Additionally, environmental preservations, increasing cyber security, counter threats such as terrorism as well as maintaining and increasing trade in the Indo-Pacific region were discussed during Pompeo’s meeting with President Ibrahim Solih.
Mike Pompeo has been visiting a number of countries in Asia. His visit comes after almost three decades since a US official last visited the Maldives, when Secretary of State James Addison Baker visited in 1992.