The Maldives and the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) has signed financing agreements worth USD 67.8 million (MVR 1 billion) to fund the Maldives Competitiveness and Growth Project (MCGP) and the Transforming Fisheries Sector Management in South-West Indian Ocean and Maldives Project.
The agreements were signed by Maldivian Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer and World Bank Group’s Country Director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, Faris H. Hadad-Zervos in a ceremony held at the Finance Ministry headquarters in Male’ on Sunday.
The ceremony was attended by senior officials from the Finance Ministry and the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA).
The first financing agreement, worth USD 53 million (MVR 814 million) will go to the development of the fisheries sector.
According to the Finance Ministry, the proceeds will be utilized to collect data, conduct research, and share the information to strengthen regional cooperation and strengthen capacity for the management and protection of the fisheries sector.
The project will also focus on promoting competitiveness, and train at least 40,000 people – with a special focus on increasing the involvement of women in the fisheries sector.
The project will be implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission and the Fisheries Ministry.
Meanwhile, the second financing agreement is worth USD 15 million (MVR 231 million). Half of it is a grant, and the other half credit – which the Finance Ministry said is a highly concessional loan.
According to the Finance Ministry, the proceeds of the loan and grant will be utilized to strengthen private participation and financial sustainability of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), and support the competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The project will focus on accelerating SOE reforms, such as providing technical assistance, facilitating policy development and business planning, and assisting in evaluation and due diligence processes.
The project will also focus on fostering SME competitiveness through initiatives such as enhancing digital financial infrastructure, promoting financial literacy and technology adoption, and providing intensive business support programs.
Finance Ministry said the project will contribute to the sustainable growth, resilience, and competitiveness of the Maldivian economy.
It is also expected to assist in streamlining SOE governance and increase private participation, increase revenues, which in turn will be a relief to the state budget.