With a single stroke of a Parker pen, the Maldivian people became the masters of their own destiny. The signing of the Independence agreement was a momentous and proud day for the Maldivian people. As a British protectorate, the Maldives was a self-governing free nation, exercising complete independence in all aspects of life including full freedom to engage in international trade. But the protectorate status meant that the Maldives had to give up its autonomy over foreign policy in return for protection from the British.
Then Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir and the government of the day realized that foreign policy autonomy was imperative for a small, isolated country like the Maldives to achieve development and modernization. What the Maldives gained on July 26, 1965, was the ability to shape its foreign policy, engage in mutually beneficial relationships with friends of our own, and choose and shape our own destiny.
In 1965, the Maldives gained political independence, and now, under the visionary leadership of President Yameen, the Maldives is looking to reshape its economic landscape so that we will also be masters of our own economic destiny.
While the Maldives is a very beautiful country admired by all, the goal of President Yameen’s government is also to make it the best place to do business in Asia so as to attract the investment needed to realize the collective vision of the people: a prosperous, self-sufficient and economically independent Maldives.
We have already seen the fruits of recent economic reforms. The Maldives received its first international credit rating in 2016 from Moody’s and from Fitch in 2017, both of which were positive, sending a clear signal to the international business community that the Maldives is ripe for their investments. The successful issue of the Maldives’ first sovereign bonds this year is also seen as a sign of the economic and financial maturation of the Maldives. It is expected that the Maldives will receive over $1.48 billion in investments over the next five years, creating over 64,000 jobs.
The Maldives has always been a very open country, welcoming people from all over the world. Today, it is one of the most prominent holiday destinations in the world, admired all over for its natural beauty and tranquility.
We have also maintained exceptional relations with all the members of the global community. Our foreign policy is based on the principles of sovereign equality of all states, a rule-based and inclusive international system, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. We believe in the supremacy of diplomacy in managing and resolving global problems while maintaining friendships based on mutual respect with all countries.
Our 52nd Independence Day comes in a year that is very significant for Maldives-China relations. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Maldives and China.
Over the past 45 years, the friendly relations between our two countries have grown by leaps and bounds. Today, China is one of the Maldives’ most trusted development partners, providing financial and other resources to achieve the Maldivians’ dream of a resilient and sustainable Maldives. There is no doubt, therefore, that China will continue to remain a significant partner as the Maldives looks to achieve new heights in economic and social development in the new century.
Together with the help of our bilateral and multilateral partners and under a visionary leader, Maldivians look forward to a future of prosperity that is propelled forward by the energy of the youth, who hold in their hands the destiny of a country that all agree is heaven on earth.
The author is the Maldivian Ambassador to China
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Source URL: Google News