President Mohamed Nasheed has said that the government’s privatization program, decentralization program and democratization process would take the Maldives and its economy to an even keel. President Nasheed made the remarks in his keynote address at the inauguration of Maldives Construction Fair 2009 organized the Maldives Association of Construction Industry.

President Nasheed said that the Government had taken the opportunities created by the economic downturn to restructure it to start living by means and to balance its books. The President also added that the decentralization program is at the heart of Government’s economic policy.

He called on the industry, especially the construction industry, to restructure itself and emphasized the need for the companies to come down to their actual size. He also noted that this is the time for the companies to restructure themselves before embarking on new ventures.

President Nasheed noted that, in the past, the Government had been the main partner in the construction industry and most of the contracts were driven by the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP). The President said that Government plans to corporatize the PSIP, and all the corporate activities within the Government would best be served to the people through corporate means. The President noted that, despite the plans to corporatize PSIP, the construction industry would not be negatively affected. He said that through the housing programme and the programme to establish the integrated transport network, projects available for the industry would double.

Further, President Nasheed reiterated the need for the use of environmentally friendly materials and methods for construction and called on industry to explore the greener materials and technologies available for the construction industry.