The Government of the Maldives has assigned the development of the Ihavandhoo transshipment port to Maldives Industrial Development Free Zone Plc (MIDFZ), a state-owned company recently established. The announcement was made by the Economic Minister, Mohamed Saeed, via a post on the social media platform X.
According to Minister Saeed, the decision to appoint MIDFZ as the master developer for the ‘Maldives Economic Gateway’ project at Ihavandhippolhu was finalized during the latest cabinet negotiations. MIDFZ is set to promptly initiate the construction of the port, alongside storage and re-export zones in the area. Details regarding the scope and timeline of the project remain undisclosed.
The establishment of MIDFZ aligns with the President’s initiative to bolster the Maldivian economy through the creation of a wholly Maldivian company specializing in transshipment and re-export activities. The primary objective of MIDFZ is to produce goods exceeding domestic needs and to enhance revenue through export.
MIDFZ has been formed in collaboration with five notable companies: STO, HDC, MPL, MTCC, and MACL. This move signifies a strategic step towards expanding the country’s industrial and export capabilities.
Additionally, the government has announced plans to develop a 100-hectare Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the reclaimed lands of the Thilafushi region, aimed at fostering re-export businesses.
The Ihavandhippolhu development project, now under the purview of MIDFZ, was initially introduced in 2014 during the tenure of former President Abdulla Yameen. It envisaged the creation of a modern port, along with facilities for trading, production, packaging, processing, a global cruise facility, an airport, and real estate development.
The subsequent government led by Ibrahim Mohamed Solih also announced plans to develop a transshipment port in Ihavandhippolhu but did not commence the project within its five-year term.
With MIDFZ at the helm, the project is anticipated to contribute to the diversification and growth of the Maldivian economy, particularly in the areas of industrial development and international trade.