Maldives named fastest-growing economy in South Asia by World Bank

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The World Bank has released its latest Maldives Development Update (MDU), naming the Maldives as the fastest-growing economy in South Asia. The report highlights that the Maldivian economy is predicted to continue to grow strongly in the coming years, with an increase in tourist arrivals, capital expenditure, and private expenditure cited as the main reasons for this growth. Furthermore, the World Bank estimates that the number of poor in the Maldives is expected to fall to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Deputy Finance Minister Mariyam Manarath spoke at the launch of the MDU at the Maldives National University (MNU) and emphasized the government’s strong fiscal reform policies. She also assured that the government would prioritize the most vulnerable people in society through these reforms to achieve financial sustainability.

Manarath highlighted the importance of investing in projects that would transform the economy, including the Ihavandhippolhu port and the integrated tourism project of Hankede. Additionally, the Finance Ministry’s Chief Financial Budget Executive Ahmed Saruvash shared the government’s efforts to strengthen the national health insurance scheme, Aasandha. According to Saruvash, the initial target for revenue-side consolidation is three percent. However, he noted that tourism growth has exceeded expectations.

Saruvash further emphasized the importance of preparing for the increase in the number of elderly people in the Maldives with the current trends in population changes. Overall, the report and the remarks made at the MDU launch demonstrate that the Maldives is on a positive economic trajectory and is well-positioned for continued growth.