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Abdulla Jihad

To Invest Or Not: GMR Fiasco At Hands Of Yameen & Friends Leave Indian Investors Nervous, Non-Committal

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At the lavish Ashoka Palace in the Indian capital New Delhi, visuals of clear turquoise water, white beaches, exciting under-water experience and boduberu dance set the mood for the delegates of over 400 companies who were here to attend the third edition of Maldives Investment Forum on Tuesday.

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Government in its keynote address tried to recapture the confidence of Indian investors as apprehension was running high due to the abrupt termination of international contract with GMR Infrastructure Ltd.

Government said they were ready to promote a transparent, hassle-free and liberal trading and investment environment and will welcome investment from India with open arms. ” The government is committed to change its legal framework to allow trade and investment to diversify economy and there has been massive progress on the infrastructure front,” Vice President Abdulla Jihad said.

“I want to assure all potential investors that Maldives is open for business. It is open 24 hours,” he added.

Even though the delegates looked impressed and were confident about the potential of doing business in the Maldives, the GMR fiasco held them back from committing immediately.

“No doubt, the Maldives looks like a dream destination for doing business. But, I would like to know more about the legal and bilateral aspects before we move forward,” said a delegate while looking at his info kit on investing in the Maldives

Another delegate who was here to explore the possibilities of investing in telecom services said, “It is very important to have a set up where we can feel secure about investing money in a certain project. Let’s see how it rolls.”

The concern over providing a conductive environment to do business in the Maldives also appeared in Indian newspapers. A leading Indian business paper Mint wrote, “The memory of the Maldives government abruptly terminating a India-Malaysia joint venture for modernising the Male airport in 2012 saw Indian industry seeking greater predictability and protection for investments in the Maldives… The cancellation of the deal had soured ties between India and the Maldives.”

Last month, GMR won a lawsuit over termination of contract to run Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).  In a major embarrassment, government was ordered to pay USD 250 million to Indian infrastructural company GMR by a 3-member Singaporean Arbitration Tribunal in its final order.

The third edition of the investment forum was held in partnership with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to seek investments in infrastructural development, airport expansion and various other sectors to boost job creation in the country.

Jihad also announced that the country will sign its first free trade agreement early next year to boost trade and cooperation with other countries.

“It is investment, both foreign and domestic that has transformed our economy and elevated to current position. On the strength of our past achievements, the government is looking into new investments and is actively seeking foreign direct investment as it is one of the fundamental driving forces of Government policies,” he added.

The annual Maldives Investment Forum was held in Singapore in 2014 and in Beijing last year. The next edition of the forum will be held in Doha, Qatar.

Maldives Investment Forum 2016 Becomes ‘Hail Yameen’ Conference

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The third edition of Maldives Investment Forum was all praise of President Abdulla Yameen by his cabinet ministers – Vice President Abdulla Jihad and Economic Development Minister Mohamed Saeed – as they tried to garner the interest of investors in the Indian capital New Delhi on Tuesday.

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The annual forum to tap the potential of the Maldives’ tourism and infrastructure sector in the international market was started under the presidency of Abdulla Yameen in 2014 in Singapore followed by Beijing in 2015.

Here are top 5 mentions of President Abdulla Yameen at the high-profile investment forum:

  • GDP has grown with double digit under the leadership of President Yameen in last three years
  • We have seen the trust for President Yameen’s economic policies. We are seeing the results of our efforts
  • Far-sighted policies of President Yameen has narrowed down fiscal deficit in the country
  • President Yameen has eased monetary policies leading to increased credit availability for the private sector and have lowered inflation
  • President Yameen’s government promotes a transparent, hassle-free and liberal trading and investment environment and believes in strong, predictable and transparent commercial regime is critical for private sector led growth

Abdulla Jihad Appointed As Third Vice President In Prez Yameen’s Regime

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President Abdulla Yameen has appointed Minister of Finance and Treasury, Abdulla Jihad as the Vice President.

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He has been appointed by the President at a ceremony held on Wednesday. Jihad has become the third Vice President in the two and a half years of President Yameen’s regime.

The appointed has been made after a eight months when the then Vice President Ahmed Adeeb was impeached and arrested for masterminding the plot to assassin President in  the boat blast on September 28, 2015.

The first appointed Vice President Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed by President Yameen was impeached for not supporting the government.

Twitter reacted sharply to this appointment. Here are some of the reactions:

Umar Naseer Resigns As Home Minister

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Umar Naseer has resigned as the Home Minister of the country. He made the announcement on Tuesday on the micro-blogging site Twitter.

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The President’s office has confirmed accepting his resignation.

Umar’s resignation came a day after he was removed as the sole authority for issuing Monitoring Control (MoniCon) in the country.

Earlier, Umar had reportedly threatened to quit after Yameen stopped him from issuing MoniCon against the MP.

According to reports, President Abdulla Yameen has introduced a new rule under which only a committee appointed by him can issue MoniCon orders from June 16.

The committee consists of Naseer, Fisheries Minister Dr. Mohamed Shainee, Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad and Commissioner of Police Ahmed Areef.

Recently, ruling coalition MP Ahmed Siyam Mohamed and MDA MP Ali Mauroof complained about Umar for issuing MoniCon orders against a member belonging to the Maldives Democratic Alliance (MDA).

Umar also expressed concern on increasing pressure on politicians from gang leaders with regards to MoniCon.

MoniCon orders restrict people from leaving their house between 10 pm and 6 am and require permission from the Home Minister (which now would be from the commission) to leave the capital city Male.

The government takes full control of communication, properties and financial transactions. The suspects are also required to appear at the station to provide signatures.

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