MALE, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Maldives' minister of finance has said that the country's economy will only be able to recover from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic by 2022, local media reported here Monday.
Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer said that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a huge blow to Maldives' tourism sector and that the country's 2019 achievement of 1.6 million visitors may only be matched again in 2022.
The Maldivian government projected the arrival of 2 million visitors this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic led to a three-month closure of the country's borders. Borders were reopened to visitors to resorts on uninhabited islands on July 15.
Ameer said that the government would begin a number of infrastructure projects including the relocation of ports, construction of bridges, and water and sewage projects in order to speed up economic recovery.
Maldives recorded 5.7 percent GDP growth in 2019 and was projected to grow by 7.5 percent this year before the pandemic hit. Experts now project the economy to contract by 17 percent in 2020.