Port to be relocated to Thilafushi, in re-export SEZ zone

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu speaks at the launch of the VIA development project on January 4, 2024. (Photo/President's Office)

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has announced plans to relocate the Male’ Commercial Port to Thilafushi instead of Gulhifalhu – as was decided by the previous administration, and to develop the area as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for re-export.

He made the announcement during the launch of a multimillion-dollar project to develop the Velana International Airport (VIA) on Thursday night.

Speaking at the launch event, President Muizzu said he decided to relocate the port to Thilafushi because he does not find Gulhifalhu to be the most suitable location for it.

‘We have decided to relocate the port planned for Gulhifalhu to Thilafushi, as we do not find Thilafushi to be the most suitable location for it. In Sha Allah, we will build a good international commercial port in Thilafushi,” he said.

He said that once land reclaimed from Thilafushi and other areas are allocated for basic needs, 100 hectors will be allocated for the Maldives Industrial Development Free Zone (MIDFZ) – a new state company his administration plans on establishing.

President Muizzu said the MIDFZ will be involved in re-exporting commodities including construction material and food.

“Given all this, and because it is such a strategic location for re-export, we will utilize the opportunities we have and develop the area as a an international SEZ zone for re-export,” he said.

President Muizzu said the project is part of his administration’s efforts to expand the Maldivian economy.