Statement delivered by 

Ms Farzana Zahir, Deputy Permanent Representative 

On Microeconomic Policy Questions  

11 October 2018

Thank you Mr Chair,  

The Maldives aligns with the statements by aosis, and Egypt on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. I also wish to thank the Secretary-General for the comprehensive Reports that has been presented to inform the deliberations under this agenda item. One common point that is suggestive in all the thematic areas covered in the sg’s Reports is that the overall objective of our discussions under this Agenda item should be coordinating our national macroeconomic policies for the purpose of achieving the Goals in the 2030 Agenda.   

The Maldives is pleased to note that it has maintained sustained economic growth in the past few years and is expected maintain this trajectory. To further accelerate the development growth, the Maldives is committed to strengthen economic fundamentals and institutional capacity, and improve governance structures. In July this year, for example, the Maldives signed an agreement with the World Bank to further improve the public sector financial management system of the Maldives.  

These on-going efforts seek to further enhance the transparency, accountability, and efficiency in budgeting, debt management, stronger preparation and prioritization of high impact and affordable public investments, optimize cost and risks of public debt, and improve public procurement and improve the efficient delivery of public services.   

One significant result of policy decisions that the Maldives has made in recent years is the favourable credit ratings that the Maldives continues to receive from international credit rating agencies. Despite these achievements, challenges remain; challenges that are unique to the small and open economies, such as geographical isolation, high unit cost of capital investment and service delivery, and the highly specialised nature of the industries that comprise our economies.   

To overcome such challenges, the Maldives has made a strategic decision to invest in modernizing critical infrastructure. This is expected to further stimulate the country’s main industries and lead to long-term sustainable development.  

The Maldives has invested in building airports near key population centres in the atolls. We have also expanded the runway at our main international airport as part of the on-going expansion of the airport terminal to reach our targets of boosting the tourism industry and creating jobs. Just a few weeks ago, we also opened a bridge that connects the capital city Malé with the main international airport and the reclaimed suburb of Hulhumalé. International financial institutions need to be more sensitive, and indeed, more flexible, in considering requests for concessional financing from the small islands-developing States, especially, the newly graduated sids.  

Without such a conducive and facilitative environment, the concept of multilateralism that the sg’s Reports have advanced, will not be inclusive. And without an inclusive and encouraging multilateral framework, sids, such as the Maldives, would not be able to maintain sustained economic growth and meet the sdgs.

I thank you.