Thursday 20th Jun 2024
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President Dr.Muizzu

President Dr. Muizzu announces a $6.5 million loan facility for women entrepreneurs, with 25% specifically allocated for women with disabilities.

Antigua and Barbuda – President H.E. Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has announced that the Maldivian government will launch a $6.5 million loan facility dedicated to women entrepreneurs, with 25% of the funds specifically allocated for women with disabilities. The announcement was made during his address at the High-Level Closing Ceremony of the SIDS Global Business Network (GBN) Forum 2024, held in Antigua and Barbuda.
In his remarks, President Dr. Muizzu outlined three key calls to action aimed at fostering economic growth and sustainability within Small Island Developing States (SIDS):
1. Promotion of MSMEs and Young Entrepreneurs: President Muizzu emphasised the need for increased investments in micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and support for young entrepreneurs. He highlighted the importance of facilitating easier cross-border trade, protecting intellectual property rights of MSMEs, and ensuring a regulatory environment that encourages investment, innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development.
2. Prioritizing Inclusivity and Community Empowerment: The President stressed the necessity of enhancing connectivity between businesses and governments to leverage the strengths of both sectors for common goals, such as infrastructure development and disaster risk reduction. He noted that this connection is crucial for SIDS, where islands are often dispersed and face unique challenges.
3. Facilitating Partnerships and Knowledge Sharing: Dr. Muizzu called for platforms that enable the forging of partnerships and the sharing of experiences. He pointed out that SIDS face significant challenges due to limited access to affordable financing for development. These challenges are compounded by the difficulties in balancing economic growth and sustainability, limited market size, and vulnerability to debt distress.
President Muizzu also urged for ongoing dialogue between businesses and government agencies to facilitate knowledge sharing and partnership development. He emphasized the need for banks, multilateral institutions, and other financial entities to prioritize actions that make finance more accessible, affordable, and tailored to the private sector's needs.
In his concluding remarks, the President highlighted that achieving the goals outlined in the Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for SIDS requires a strong partnership between SIDS governments and the private sector. He emphasized that prioritizing the private sector is essential to realizing resilient and inclusive prosperity for all.
The SIDS Global Business Network Forum 2024 was organised by the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS).