Finance Minister: Maldivian economy has recovered to pre-pandemic levels

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer addresses the Parliament on November 9, 2022. (Photo/People's Majlis)

The Maldivian economy has recovered to pre-pandemic levels after the downturn from the Covid-19 pandemic, states Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer.

In a tweet Monday, Ameer said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in a press statement after a recent staff visit to Maldives, highlighted that the Maldivian economy was growing at a rapid pace.

He credited Maldives’ fast economy recovery to the government’s economic policies and timely Covid-19 response efforts.

“The Maldivian economy has recovered to pre-pandemic levels. The 1.6 million tourists we targeted in 2022 visited Maldives. We expect 1.8 million tourist arrivals this year,” he said.

Ameer said that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is free of any political motive in his decisions to improve the Maldivian economy.

He makes the decisions by putting the Maldivian people and the interests of this country first, he said.

Ameer said that the bitter consequences of politically-motivated decisions are evident from Maldives’ neighbors.

“The reality we see from our neighbors is that the great loss and hardship from compromising economic policies for political empowerment is very bitter,” he said.

Ameer’s remarks come a day after a rise in the rate of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from six to eight percent kicked in.

IMF warned the Maldivian government in a report that the tax hikes alone are not enough to improve the economy. The institution advised the government to implement cost cutting measures in light of the rise in global food and fuel prices.

IMF said that the expected rise in tourist arrivals is expected to fuel economic growth.

But the rise in expenditure and an unsustainable debt level remains real risks, warned the institution.