President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom remarked that the Maldives still requires more foreign aid to further develop the country.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the annual meeting of Heads of Missions of the Republic of Maldives held at Hotel Jen in capital Male, the president highlighted the efforts laid to develop the nation. Noting that the Maldives is no longer listed as a small developing state, he stressed the need of aid and assistance that were provided to the Maldives in the past.
Hence, he urged to shape the works of the heads of missions such that further aid may be acquired.
“We should always work to achieve economic advancement from whichever ways possible,” added the president.
President Yameen pointed out that explaining the critical environmental situation of the Maldives is one way to earn developmental aid.
While speaking about the housing units built in the reclaimed suburb of Hulhumale, he also noted that the government is not capable of building sea walls and establishing coastal reinforcement all across the country and, therefore, the solution is centralization.
The president added that the government has sought financial assistance from Japan for the project and expressed hopes to receive the aid at a low cost.
Furthermore, the president declared that a strong response needs to be given to those who see the Maldives as a hub for extremism.
President stressed that while the Maldives is a top tourist destination, it is also a moderate Islamic state which would not allow religious extremism. He added that there are no obstructions to invest in the Maldives and that expats and locals will be treated equally in the sector.
Moreover, President Yameen added that the free trade agreement which will soon be signed between China and the Maldives will be testimony to the latter's welcoming policies for foreigners.
“All states will face issues. The challenges to our state is the learning stage we are in. This government will pay heed to others,” he said.
This is the first annual gathering of the Heads of Missions held in 10 years. The last meeting took place in 2007. This year’s theme is “Promoting Destination Maldives” which revolves around promoting the Maldives as a tourism destination, but also as a destination for foreign investments and economic projects to enhance growth in the Maldives. In this regard, discussions will be carried out among the Heads of Missions on the best practices, viability and challenges faced in advancing the mandate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The main objectives during the sessions will be focused on devising ways to overcome the challenges faced, and methodologies to strengthen the administration and coordination between the Foreign Ministry and the Missions abroad, to perfect the diplomatic practices to attract foreign investors and tourists.