Qasim Ibrahim


Qasim Ibrahim

Qasim Ibrahim (also known as "Buruma Qasim") is a businessman and politician in the Maldives.It has been claimed that he is also the wealthiest person in the Maldives, with a net worth of approximately $456 million in 2000, according to his interview for the Adduvas Weekly. He is the founder and the chairman of largest Maldivian Company, Villa Group [http://www.villa.com.mv] .

Business career

In 1969, Qasim Ibrahim began his career as a clerk at the Government Hospital in Malé. In 1973, he left his job in the Government Hospital and took up an appointment as Manager at M/S Alia Furniture Mart. Subsequently, he worked for Crescent, a trading organisation, for a short period.

In 1974, he joined an outlet of the Maldivian Government Bodu Store, presently known as the State Trading Organisation (STO).

In 1976 he set up his own trading business, with an initial borrowed capital of US$2,000, which was then equivalent to 15,000 Maldivian Rufiyaa. He traded in commodities such as rice, tobacco, diesel and kerosene, which proved to be profitable, and the business experienced rapid growth.

After four years, Ibrahim was able to purchase his first shipping vessel, an old fishing vessel converted to carry cargo and oil, to facilitate oil imports. By April 14, 1986, Ibrahim's business was registered under the name of Villa Shipping and Trading Company Limited (Villa). Since then, the company has diversified its business to include tourism and inter-island marine transport. In addition, the company trades in an increasing number of products in the Maldives. Shell and Agfa are among the brand names represented by Villa in the Maldives, as a sole agent.

On the registration the shareholders were Ibrahim and Rabia Hussein, holding 95% and 5% respectively of the share capital. For strategic reasons, Villa Shipping (Singapore) Pte Limited was incorporated in Singapore on December 19, 1991, with Villa holding a major interest. The paid up capital by Villa Shipping (Singapore) now stands at S$500,000.

In October 1996, representative office, with the primary objective of promoting Villa resorts, opened in Frankfurt, Germany. Constraints on the activities permitted through the representative office led to the creation of a company with wider objectives. Villa Holidays Touristik GmbH was incorporated by Ibrahim on 23 July 1997 with a paid-up capital of DM500,000. The company aims to act as a wholesaler for holiday packages to the Maldives, an agent for sales of hotel rooms in the Maldives, sale of air tickets, and a vehicle for acquiring and trading of tourism related properties and real estate such as hotels and resorts worldwide.

In the year 2001 and 2002 Villa Hotels, Tokyo and Villa Hotels, Hong Kong were established respectively.

Political career

Qasim Ibrahim was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1989. In addition, he has held and still holds various other posts in a number of government committees and regional bodies.

*President of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry
*President of the Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI)
*Vice-President of the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI)
*Board member of the Maldives Ports Authority (Government Appointment)
*Former board member of the Bank of Maldives
*President of the Peoples Special Majlis

Mr. Qasim Ibrahim was the Minister of Finance and Treasury in the Maldives government from July 2005 to July 2008. [ [http://www.finance.gov.mv/index.htm Maldives Ministry of Finance and Treasury] , official website. Retrieved 17 April 2007.] He resigned from his post as the Minister of Finance and Treasury on Thursday, 10th July 2008 at 1438hrs. [Haveeru Daily [http://haveeru.com.mv/english/?page=details&id=23616] ] He also resigned from his position as the Deputy Leader of the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), and submitted resignation from the party as well, shortly after resigning from his position as the Finance Minister. [Dhivehi Observer [http://doreview.blogspot.com/2008/07/deputy-leader-of-drp-resigns-from-party.html] ]

Mr. Qasim Ibrahim joined the recently founded Jumhooree Party (Republican Party), which now is the largest opposision in the Maldives Parliament, and was unanimously elected as the party's choice for the presidential elections in October 2008. He was officially endorsed by the party at its first National Congress held at Dharubaaruge, Male', on 22nd August 2008.

References


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