The Ministry of Finance is looking to recruit at least three international experts, and one local professional, to assist in the reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

According to listings on the ministry’s website, the agency is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for; one SOE Reform Expert (International), one Economic Reform Communications Strategist (International), one Social Protection Economist (International) and an Associate Social Protection Economist (National).

The administration recently launched the ‘Maldives Competitiveness and Growth Project’, partnering with the World Bank, in a bid to reform SOEs; one of President Mohamed Muizzu’s campaign pledges. The five-year project will focus on sorting SOE finances, creating opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and increasing private sector participation.

SOEs contribute to significant economic activity within the country, employing more than 15,000 people.

The problem of escalating debt and unprofitability of SOEs, non-compliance with corporate governance principles in the operation of some companies, and poor decision making facilitating corruption is seen as an urgent and serious issue.

SOEs have, over the years, had several corruption related scandals contributing to huge losses to the state and the erosion of public confidence.