Emirates news agency – OPEC Fund grants $ 10 million loan to Bank of Maldives to help revive tourism businesses
VIENNA, June 8, 2021 (WAM) – The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has announced the signing of a US $ 10 million loan agreement with the Bank of Maldives.
According to the Fund, the loan will be used to on-lend to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in tourism and related services in the Maldives which have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bank of Maldives, as the main lender to the tourism industry and the largest financial institution in the Maldives, will provide much needed working capital to businesses in the tourism and related industries.
Tim Sawyer, CEO and Managing Director of Bank of Maldives, said: “Funding comes at an opportune time as we scale up our COVID-19 response resources for tourism and business sectors severely affected by the pandemic. From the start, we took the lead. in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on business and this support from the OPEC Fund will help our efforts as the country continues on the road to recovery. “
For his part, Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, Managing Director of the OPEC Fund, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to support the post-pandemic economic recovery in the Maldives. This loan to the private sector is based on our established cooperation framework. with the Maldives, which dates back to 1977 and enabled the OPEC Fund to provide finance to the public and private sectors to support critical development projects in the country for decades. “
“Our loan will help revive businesses and maintain jobs essential to the stability of the local economy,” he noted.
The OPEC Fund loan is part of a syndication led by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. “Helping the Maldives revive tourism is essential for the resilient recovery of the economy hampered by COVID-19,” said Rosy Khanna, regional director of the Financial Institutions Group for IFC Asia and the Pacific.
The OPEC Fund has provided loans to the public and private sectors in the Maldives for decades, funding projects in the transport, multisectoral, water and sanitation, and financial sectors. This latest loan is aligned with the OPEC Fund’s COVID-19 response package approved last year to assist partner countries in their impact and recovery efforts.
OFID was created in January 1976 by the 13 member countries of OPEC at the time; including the United Arab Emirates. It is the development finance institution established as a channel of aid to developing countries.