Thursday 25th Jul 2024
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President Dr.Muizzu

President Dr. Muizzu Addresses the "Invest Maldives" Forum in Fujian

President Dr. Mohammed Muizzu gave a speech at the Invest Maldives Forum in Fuzhou, attended by the Governor of Fujian province, the ambassador of China to Maldives, Her Excellency Wong Wen Xin, and other members of the Chinese Communist Party and the Provincial People’s Government of Fujian.
Dr. Muizzu outlined his government’s vision for the development of Maldives and stated that his first state visit being to China was a testament to the commitment of both President Xi Jinping and the People of China to the Maldives. Dr. Muizzu asserted that China would be one of Maldives' closest partners for development in his term as President.
Dr. Muizzu commented on the history of China-Maldives relations, noting that relations began in 1972. Maldives became an early party to President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2014, which has delivered some of the most significant infrastructure projects witnessed in Maldivian history, including the China Maldives Friendship Bridge and various social housing projects. The president commented that the new vision for Velana International Airport and the Commercial Port Project are strategic initiatives of the government in alignment with the BRI vision of land, ocean air and digital connectivity.
The President emphasized the importance of the free trade agreement signed between China and Maldives, which is the first of its kind between China and any South Asian country. The agreement looks to boost bilateral trade, with a focus on the export of Maldives fish products to China.
Initiatives, such as the the Global Development Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have also been essential to development projects within the Maldives. Dr. Muizzu, having previously served as the first Governor of AIIB from Maldives, has a strong understanding of the importance of these initiatives in the development of smaller nations and their infrastructure.
The President assured his audience of the Maldives Government’s commitment to preserving ocean resources and the environment while pursuing development and further growth in the tourism industry. In line with this aim, the President commented on his plan to develop Ras-Male’, the first eco-friendly city in the country, with over 1000 hectares being reclaimed within eight months, the city is planned to serve a total population size of 325,000 people.
The Maldives Government has pledged to reach 33% of the country’s total power demand through renewable energy sources by 2028 at the top 28 in Dubai. The government has received a positive response from this initiative from the private sector with the government having received its first proposal under the SEC framework to develop a project of a 110 MW, floating solar farm and battery storage facility. Once successfully rolled out, this project has the potential to produce 34% of electricity, consumed and morale, according to the proposal.
Dr. Muizzu addressed the diversification of the Maldives economic base and ensuring economic security. The government has recently established a company, called the Maldives Industrial Development Free Zone. The company will act as a master developer for strategic initiatives to bring in additional income to the country, and will also make investments as necessary to ensure a stable standard of living for all Maldivian citizens.
To boost tourism, the government has begun to explore initiatives, including the development of a top-tier school of hospitality, and exploring sport, medical and cultural tourism. Pre-Covid, China was the number one market for Maldives tourism, and the Government of Maldives hopes to recapture this in the coming years.
The government plans through these initiatives to double the current GDP from six billion dollars to twelve billion dollars by 2028. The president ensured investors that investing in the Maldives would be a “truly rewarding experience.”
The special and economic zones framework has been reactivated which provides attractive incentives for strategic investments of over US$100 million. This is coupled with a completely new investment law in the pipeline with provisions guaranteeing investment security, as well as paving the way for investment treaties.
President Dr. Muizzu has made his development plans abundantly clear for the future of his term and seeks China’s aid in making many of these plans a reality.