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Maldives new normal path to economic recovery

Friday, 31st July 2020


The Head of Mission in New Delhi and Ambassador of Uganda to Maldives was among many envoys accredited to this island nation,who on 27th July, 2020 attended a virtual reception organised by the country in honour of its 55th Independence Anniversary. The ceremony was held against the backdrop of Maldives recent efforts to re-ignite tourism,the principal sector of the economy, by opening its air space to international air traffic. Reproduced below are excerpts from President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih address to diplomats accredited to Male.

This year our Independence Day falls during extraordinary times. Like the rest of the world we have had to endure many hardships due to the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. These challenges threaten to undermine much of the socio -economic progress we have achieved in recent decades. To safeguard our residents from the virus we were forced to close our borders for months, despite our heavy economic reliance on tourism. The social, economic and psychological toll of the virus has been immense.

Early government interventions guided by the expertise of our health authorities, combined with the dedication of our front-line workers has allowed us to weather the worst of the pandemic. We are now on the path to recovery under a new normal. We have lifted the lockdown and begun gradually easing other temporary restrictive measures. We have re-opened our borders for tourism with strong guidelines to reinvigorate the economy,while remaining vigilant of the evolving situation.

I take great pride in our national health response. The inspiring example set by our front-line workers and support of the public in particular has given me strength during this difficult time. I am also very grateful for the generosity of the international community. Your support and good-will remains crucial to our national resilience efforts.

While we cherish our independence, the Maldives equally values being part of the wider international community. There is no country that is completely self reliant, and the complex issues of our time can only be addressed through concerted global efforts. This has been starkly illustrated to all of us during this ongoing pandemic.

Apart from India and Maldives, the Uganda Mission in New Delhi is accredited to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Singapore: countries whose economies have all been badly battered by COVID-19 winds.