An announcement to buy U.S. dollars was cancelled after the finance ministry arranged the funds, the Road Development Corporation insisted, contrary to media reports suggesting that the cancellation was ordered by the government or the central bank.
The Maldivian economy is expected to grow by 12% this year despite challenges and setbacks, according to the central bank’s quarterly economic bulletin, which estimated domestic economic recovery to have gained further strength in Q1-2022 despite a wave of Covid-19 infections driven by the Omicron variant in January and the impact of the war in Ukraine.
A surge in tourists from India helped offset the sharp decline in Russian holidaymakers in March. Arrivals from Russia – a top source market – have also been recovering since national carrier Aeroflot resumed flights in mid-May.
“Available high frequency indicators and business survey results for Q1-2022 point to a continued strengthening of economic activity, underpinned by the significant expansion in tourism sector with positive spill-over effects on other major sectors, such as transportation and communication sector and wholesale and retail trade sector,” the report observed. “In addition, the ongoing recovery of construction and real estate activity is also estimated to have contributed positively to GDP growth in Q1-2022.”
But the rate of inflation is expected to accelerate sharply “mainly due to a surge in global oil prices in the wake of the Russia- Ukraine war” and the outlook for the second half of 2022 “will largely depend on the evolution of global oil and food prices and government policies related to taxation and subsidies.”
A substantial increase in global inflation in recent months was attributed to “an intensification of supply side bottlenecks amid lockdowns in China and the war in Ukraine”.
The Maldives Association of Tourism Industry, a group representing resort operators, held an award ceremony as part of celebrations for the golden jubilee of tourism this year.
The ’50 Years of Tourism Awards by MATI’ honoured “organisations and individuals that have exceptionally contributed to the tourism industry” over the past half-century.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, as chief guest of the ceremony held at Kurumba resort, handed out the ‘Pioneers Award’ to the four trailblazers who brought the first tourists to the Maldives. A special award also recognised the contributions of former presidents Ibrahim Nasir and Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
The winners of the 57 awards in total were “selected by a committee of industry experts and veterans that comprehensively vetted and evaluated all nominations received,” according to MATI.
Some 1,344 flats were built in ten 13-storey towers under the US$163 million project. The price of the three-bedroom Vinares apartments reportedly range from MVR4.9 million (US$317,769) to MVR6 million with MVR19,000 to MVR23,000 monthly payments over 20 to 25 years. Both the HDC and planning ministry defended the prices in the face of criticism.