New Delhi: Maldives top businessman Mohamed Ali Janah who is on an India visit has said that his country is seeing an economic recovery even as the impact of COVID pandemic subsides.
The Maldives, which is largely dependent on tourism, was greatly impacted due to the crisis.
Expressing confidence, Janah while speaking to WION said, “We have been able to manage things. On the economic front, we were hit very badly. Restaurants, boating were hit very badly. In the early stages, they had to close for a prolonged period of time.”
“Gradual recovery is happening now. Would not say people were not hit. Industries have been hit very badly but the good news is we are on a recovery path. Next year and 2023 will be very good for the Maldives. In the worst of times, we have managed in a way beyond people’s expectations,” he explained.
Being the chairman of Hotels and Resort Construction Pvt Ltd, his current project portfolio is worth over USD 300 Million. Janah is hopeful to get more investments during his India visit and is expected to start new projects.
Being closely associated with the tourism Industry, he pointed out that tourists are getting back which is a sign of normalcy returning.
He said, “India was the saviour. Indian tourists started coming, the Russian tourists started coming. I would say India, Russia saved the Maldives this time. As you can see the numbers, by July this year 132,000 Russian had visited and 100,000 Indians had visited.”
The Maldives opened for Indian tourists back from July 15th as the country announced that it will issue on-arrival tourist visas to South Asian travellers.
In May, entry of tourists was suspended as covid cases surged in the region and India was hit by devastating 2nd wave of COVID crisis. A large number of people associated with Maldive’s hotel industry have also been vaccinated.
On ties, he said, “Current political relations between India and Maldives are at its best. That creates a lot of new opportunities for the businessman of both countries to avail the business transactions that could take place between the 2 countries”
Janah who is also the chief of the Maldives’ National Federation of employees suggested that India can help in capacity building in his country, especially in the tourism and hotel sector.
Lauding Indian workers in his country, he highlighted, “One thing good for us is that we also have an illegal labour problem.. but when it comes to Indian workers they are very careful, they are very disciplined and they never abscond which helps us to trust Indian expat community”
Maldives industry has a rule that one should have 45 % Maldivians and 55% expats in any resort.