President Conferred Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asia HRD Awards 2017 – Press Releases

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has been conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Asia Human Resources Development (HRD) Awards 2017 held tonight in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The Ambassador of the Maldives to Malaysia, H.E. Mohamed Fahmy Hassan accepted the Award on behalf of the President.

The Award was conferred on the President in recognition of his outstanding contributions towards nation-building and people development, and for the strength and support extended to professionals in the HRD field. The Lifetime Achievement Award is conferred on individuals who have either promoted the cause of learning or pioneered initiatives that have impacted people in a significant manner.

In an acceptance message delivered in absentia at the ceremony, the President emphasised acceptance of the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of the people of the Maldives, noting that the Award is an acknowledgement of collective success. In the President’s words, the milestones achieved in recent years should be attributed to the Maldivian spirit and to the many sacrifices made to attain a better future. The President also remarked that the Award will stand as an incentive to upscale innovative change in the Maldives.

Speaking about the development plan of the Government of Maldives, the President highlighted on transforming the economy by transcending challenges and tapping into areas where the Maldives has comparative advantages. He outlined the vision for a more prosperous and harmonious Maldives with greater international leverage, where its people are independent, empowered and self-sufficient. The President noted that at nearly USD 8000, the GDP per capita of the Maldives is the highest in the South Asia region, concluding that this is a significant increase from under USD 200, 50 years ago.

To redress income disparities that arise from geographic dispersion, the President emphasized population consolidation as one of the most pressing hurdles to the Government, and therefore of high priority. In this regard, he highlighted on the Hulhumalé Youth City currently being developed to provide comfortable housing and equitable amenities, expected to meet the needs of nearly three quarters of the population.

The President further highlighted on other mega development projects underway, including the modernisation and expansion of Velana International Airport. He noted that the project involves a new runway, more parking bays and a brand new terminal building. He remarked that these improved facilities will collectively make the airport one of the best in the region, and will cater to no less than 7.5 million passengers. The President also noted that the development of the airport is essential toward the realisation of another objective of the Government – opening of 50 new resort hotels. He stated that these projects will quadruple tourists in the coming few years.

The President stressed that in a knowledge-based economy where there is greater reliance on intellectual capabilities than on depleting natural resources, investing in youth is a prerequisite for sustaining and enhancing economic growth and resilience. He encouraged the youth to realize their dreams by exploring and seizing available opportunities. The President noted that the development projects undertaken by the Government will create 90,000 employment opportunities for the youth and will be conducive to achieving the overarching target of doubling the per capita income in 5 years.

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Source URL: The President's Office

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