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Vice President Mohamed Waheed Deen has said that although freedom of speech and democracy were two very important things, the most important was being commercially viable, the ability to stand on one’s own feet, and economic empowerment of the people.
The Vice President made this remark while speaking at the Turkish-Maldives Business Forum 2013. The function was held last evening at Traders Hotel.
Speaking on the Maldives’ journey towards a proper democracy, the Vice President said that democracy does not only give us the freedom to voice out our opinions, but that it also gives the opportunity to stand on our own feet. He also said that the government must provide this opportunity for the people.
In his speech, the Vice President noted the importance of empowering the local councils economically, so that they are able to fulfill the people’s needs and aspirations. He also spoke of the need to aware the people that being separate, smaller communities was not economically feasible.
“Population consolidation is economically important, politically viable, and it brings development for the people”, said the Vice President.
Highlighting the long existing centrally controlled government in the Maldives, the Vice President said that today that the Maldives is trying to learn and adapt to a decentralized governance system.
The Vice President said that the establishment of business relations with the Turkish business community was a strong step towards strengthening democracy in the Maldives. He said that the government must always be ready to welcome business opportunities from abroad, and that it was important that the government create.