Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has called on countries to strengthen cooperation to overcome the impact of global economic downturn. The Vice President made this remark while speaking at the third meeting of the SAARC Finance Ministers that was held this morning at Bandos Island Resort.

He also noted that most of the SAARC member countries had been quick to respond to the situation and “introduce measures to ease the impact of the credit crunch, to create greater liquidity and to stimulate their economies”.

In his speech, the Vice President underlined that as part of the democratisation process, the government of Maldives has undertaken many economic reform measures.

“The budget deficit has been curtailed, much of the PSIP is being considered for private sector financing through PPP, strict budgetary controls put in place to prevent wasteful spending, and a strong push for foreign investment through joint ventures”, said Dr Waheed.

Noting that the drug issue was one of the greatest challenges that we face in the Maldives, Dr Waheed stressed the need for preventing drug abuse, crime and terrorism and said that “these are all threats to our economies”.