Malé, Maldives – Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer has said that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Maldives is expected to increase by 34 percent this year, after a huge blow on the economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
While speaking on a program of PSM, Minister Ameer said that although there are about 3,000 tourists arriving daily to Maldives currently, this number is expected to increase to 5,000 arrivals per day in April as China and European countries are expected to open up by then.
I anticipate a 34 percent increase in the GDP this year, 2021 will prove to be a very promising year for our economy.Finance Minister Ameer
Minister Ameer also said that although the pandemic had a huge impact on the economy, one thing we learned from it was the relationship between health sector and the economy. He added that the only way to bring the economy back on track is to control the number of Covid-19 cases in Maldives. He noted the while Maldives had been constantly working to regain the economy since the reopening of the borders on July 15th, 2020, a high priority was given to recover from the pandemic and stop the spread of Covid-19 in Maldives.
While speaking about the budget for the previous year, Minister Ameer hjghlighted that the obstacle was not receiving the anticipated income. He added that this resulted in the state incurring a huge debts which could be solved by taking loans and seeking financial support from foreign sources. He also noted that the state received USD 530 million as financial help from different institutions.
Further speaking, Minister Ameer noted his satisfaction over the measures taken by the government during the losses incurred to the economy during the pandemic. The state gave out MVR 260 million to 17,700 people whos jobs were affected due to the pandemic. MVR 580 million was also given out businesses as loans during the previous year.
According to the quarterly statistics of the previous year revealed by the National Bureau of Statistics, the GDP of the second quarter decreased by 51 percent compared to the same time period of 2019. The GDP also decreased by 54 percent in the second quarter compared to the first. Maldives had been identified among the countries who had the largest impact on their economy due to the pandemic by various world financial institutes.