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Friday, 20 March 2015

Maldives to sign MoU for Thilafushi port project

Authorities in the Maldives islands are reportedly in talks with operator DP World to move commercial port facilities from the Port of Malé to Thilafushi, an artificial island in the south of the island chain.

The President of the Maldives Abdulla Yameen Abdul ‎Gayoom has met with Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of Emirati operator DP World and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is set to be signed imminently. The proposed  MoUwill consist of three phases and require an estimated investment of between $250 and $300 million, according to the Maldive Tourism Minister, Ahmed Adeeb.

The project would lead to the development of a new port free zone at the site in Thilafushi, an artificial island originally created as a municipal landfill  to the west of Malé, but now increasingly the focus of economic expansion for the island state.

“In a very short period of time, we have steadied the economy, stabilised the currency, increased the gross reserve, increased investor confidence, and while solving issues in the domestic environment or arena, we are seeing today that what this government is doing is real governance,” Mohamed Saeed, the Maldives Economic Development Minister said.

The Maldives’ location near the boundary of the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea area has made the island state a focus for East-West shipping routes between Asia and Europe and the Middle East, particularly with China's renewed interest in a maritime Silk Road.

As a result, the government has reported strong economic growth in recent years and soaring traffic at the main port of Malé which has created congestion and the need to expand.

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