Newly sworn-in President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has appointed Mohamed Saeed as the Minister of Economic Development and Trade, and Dr. Mohamed Shafeeq as the Minister of Finance.
Both were formally designated last night in a ceremony held at the president’s office, following the inauguration ceremony of the President, which took place in a grand event at Republican Square.
As Muizzu’s primary targets include addressing the Maldives’ debt situation and revitalizing the economy, which suffered a setback during the COVID-19 pandemic, these two ministers are poised to play a pivotal role.
Saeed previously served as the Economic Minister during President Abdulla Yameen’s regime and was a cabinet colleague of the current President, Muizzu. He also held a parliamentary position and resigned yesterday to assume the role of minister.
With 18 years of experience in various managerial roles in resorts, Saeed transitioned to politics and served as a non-executive member of the Directors Board of the central bank. He was also the Director of the Asia Infrastructure and Investment Bank, in addition to holding the position of super CEO in three state-owned enterprises during Yameen’s tenure.
In contrast, Finance Minister Shafeeq, who is new to both politics and ministerial posts, was the Chief Financial Officer of the Housing Development Finance Corporation for many years. Holding a Ph.D. in Business Administration, he provided consultancy services to numerous local and international corporations in the financial and economic fields. Shafeeq also served as a board member of the Maldives Hajj Corporation.
The roles of these two ministers will be crucial in the current term, particularly as the Maldives grapples with the challenge of managing its debts in the upcoming years. According to records from the Finance Ministry, the Maldives’ debt stands at a staggering 108 billion rufiyaa, with 59 billion of it being foreign debt. The country is obligated to repay 1 billion dollars (equivalent to 15.4 billion rufiyaa) in 2026.