Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Mr. Takehiko Nakao states that Maldives’ economic growth has been robust in the past 5 years. He made the remarks during meetings held with senior government officials of Maldives, during his ongoing two day visit to the country.
ADB President Nakao said that in the past five years Maldives economic growth has been averaging 6.4%. ADB forecasts gross domestic product (GDP) growth to maintain an average of 6.4% during 2019–2020 on the back of continued expansion of tourism and construction.
Maldives attained upper middle-income status in 2010. The country’s GDP per capita reached $10,449 in 2018, up from an estimated $200 in 1978. Life expectancy is now more than 78 years, and the literacy rate is almost 100%.
“I commend the government for Maldives’ remarkable economic and social progress over the last few decades,” Mr. Nakao said. “ADB reaffirms its support to help address the country’s key development challenges, which include a dispersed population spread over several islands, a narrow economic base, and vulnerability to climate change.” Nakao said.
The President of ADB advised that the Maldivian government needs to exercise fiscal prudence in light of the country’s weakened fiscal and external position and increasing debt. And that Maldives’ fiscal and external current account deficits have widened to 5.5% of GDP and 25% of GDP, respectively, while debt levels have risen, reaching 72.1% of GDP in 2018.
During his two day visit to Maldives which started on the 25th, President of ADB has met with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Speaker of Parliament, Finance Minister and other government officials.
Nakao visited Malé North Harbor supported by ADB’s Domestic Maritime Transportation Project, which was designed to increase harbor capacity, and the State Electric Company Limited power plant supported by ADB’s Third Power System Development Project, which extended power generation and distribution in Malé. He also visited the Greater Malé Environmental Improvement and Waste Management Project in Thilafushi, which is establishing modern waste management systems.