Honourable Ministers, Head of HSBC International, Mr. Graham MacNaughton, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Maldives, Mr. Mark Humble, Ladies and Gentlemen;
I am very happy to be here this morning to officially inaugurate the Male’ branch of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
I would like to thank you, Mr. MacNaughton, and the staff of HSBC for the beautiful memento that you have just given me to mark the occasion.
I am confident that the opening of an HSBC branch in Male’ will contribute to the further development of banking and financial services in the country.
From the initial efforts of Thomas Sutherland nearly 140 years ago, the HSBC Group has grown into one of the largest banking organisations in the world. I understand that the HSBC Group has over 7,000 offices, and serves over 31 million customers worldwide. We have just been told that its reach covers 81 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa.
Therefore, the opening of a branch of such a world-renowned bank in Male’ augurs well for the future of banking services in the Maldives, and indeed, our economy.
The HSBC is beginning operations in the Maldives at a vital time for the country. Our economy is poised to make a transition to a new and exciting phase of development. We are working to attain the goals of our 6th National Development Plan and, eventually, those of our Vision 2020. In addition to our own resources and bilateral and multilateral assistance, private capital is going to play a crucial role in the achievement of the objectives of our social and economic development.
We are living in an age when the volume of official development assistance is shrinking, and the role of private capital is increasing. Indeed, the Government’s economic plans emphasise the development and the strengthening of the financial services sector as an important platform for sustaining economic progress.
The arrival of HSBC is definitely a vote of confidence in the prospects of our economy. It is also a very strong and positive signal to other international banks and investors.
I wish the operations of HSBC in the Maldives every success, and look forward to a strong and mutually beneficial partnership between HSBC, the Government and the business community in the Maldives.