Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has underscored the urgent need for the Maldives to implement comprehensive fiscal structural reforms. Georgieva met President Mohamed Muizzu on the sidelines of the World Government Summit 2024 on Monday. The summit is held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), from 12-14 February.

At the meeting, Georgieva highlighted the dire fiscal situation faced by the new administration, according to the President’s Office. She emphasised the magnitude of the task and the critical necessity of these reforms and consolidation strategies to fortify the Maldivian economy against external shocks and internal challenges.

Georgieva lauded President Muizzu’s proactive leadership, decisiveness, and the ambitious public-sector reforms he has initiated, according to the President’s Office, expressing confidence in his economic reform agenda and applauding the government’s significant steps towards fostering a resilient and prosperous future for the Maldives.

She also commended President Muizzu’s efforts to engage transparently with the public and underscored the critical importance of new investments in bolstering the nation’s resilience, given the Maldives’ unique position of natural beauty and environmental fragility.

The President and the IMF Managing Director also spoke on further areas of cooperation, including climate change, adaptation, and resilience. President Muizzu expressed gratitude to the IMF, emphasising the close relations between the IMF and the Maldives.

President Mohamed Muizzu meeting with Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, the Director General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) on 12 February 2024 | Image courtesy: President’s Office

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, the Director General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), also paid a courtesy call on President Muizzu. At the meeting, President Muizzu and Director General Al Suwaidi deliberated on the long-standing bilateral relations between the Maldives and the UAE and the generous contributions from the Abu Dhabi Fund for the development of the Maldives. They also discussed enhancing cooperation in the tourism, agriculture, health, economic, and development sectors.

President Muizzu embarked on an official visit to Dubai on Sunday. The visit was initiated at the behest of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who serves as the Vice President, Prime Minister, and Minister for Defence of the UAE, and his role as the Ruler of Dubai.

The World Governments Summit 2024 is being held under the banner of ‘Shaping Future Governments’. The summit aims to serve as a platform for governments, international organisations, thought leaders, and private sector leaders to convene and engage in discourse regarding the challenges of the future, with the ultimate goal of empowering the next generation of governments.

In addition to his participation in the summit, President Muizzu is also slated to attend the Maldives Investment Forum, where he will deliver the keynote address. The forum is set to take place on Tuesday.