Finance Minister: GDP would have been at MVR 140B if not for the pandemic

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer speaks at a campaign rally of MDP held in GDh. Gadhdhoo. (Photo/MDP)

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, on Wednesday, stated that Maldives’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP), if not for the COVID-19 pandemic, would have been at MVR 140 billion by the end of this year.

Speaking at a campaign rally of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih held at Ameer’s birth island, GDh. Gadhdhoo last night, the minister said Maldives’ economy was improving at a high speed ahead of the pandemic.

He detailed that only USD 162 million was in the state’s usable reserve when the current administration took office in 2018, which was raised USD 316 million in just two years.

Nevertheless, Ameer stressed that the nation’s GDP dropped by 33 percent due to the pandemic, citing the Maldivian economy would have been at much better levels by the end of this year, if the pandemic had not taken place. 

Ameer forecasted the following numbers with respect to the economy by the end of this term, if not for the pandemic.

  • GDP – MVR 140 billion
  • Usable reserve – USD 500 million
  • Tourist arrivals – Three million per year

Nevertheless, Ameer said the Maldivian economy was in a better condition compared to before, even with the difficulties faced due to the pandemic.

“Even with the pandemic, the usable reserve stood at approximately USD 177 million when we concluded 2020 amid the pandemic; an increase from the USD 162 million it stood at by the end of 2018,” he said.

The minister stressed that the government had incurred huge expenses during the pandemic to provide income support, frontline allowance and financial assistance to small and medium enterprises.

He added that the government undertook these tasks while faring through the biggest low the Maldives and the world’s economy have ever experienced.

Minister Ameer said the government, despite a multitude of difficulties, carried out a great number of infrastructure development projects – which would aid in doubling the economy in the next term.

Statistics show that Maldives’ usable reserve stood at USD 594 million at the end of last month. USD 238 million has been deducted from the reserve between last year’s December and July.

Maldives’ GDP improved by 13 percent last year, while so far this year, it has been at 9 percent.