Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail bemoans constricting window of opportunity for a transshipment harbor in Maldives.
Development of a transshipment harbor has been one of the primary campaign pledges by incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Since taking helm as the Maldives head of state, President Solih pushed for the development of a transshipment harbor in the northermost Ihavandhippolhu in the country.
While the government on Sunday, September 25, signed with JMC Projects (India) for the redevelopment and expansion of Hanimaadhoo International Airport, Minister Fayyaz while speaking at the ceremony, claimed the development of a transshipment harbor was already long past due. He envisioned the potentiality for a new economic sector in the country, had the harbor been developed some 10 to 15 years in the past.
According to the minister, had this been the case, the economic sector will be enjoying similar growth as to that of the tourism sector - the country's largest economic segment.
The scope for such a project has become constricted in light of similar harbors in the region; especially in neighboring countries. Though the most opportune moment for a harbor has passed, the minister claims prospective for such a project was not completely beyond opportunistic.
Minister in his speech pondered on potential affiliated industries such as logistics, bunkering and other areas which the Maldives could profit from in future. While investments for said industries are staggering, the minister affirms the research for the projects was sound.
Completion of Hanimaadhoo International Airport's redevelopment will vastly enhance bunkering and transshipment service potentiality in the country.
A similar initiative was launched directed on Ihavandhippolhu, during the previous administration led by former President Abdulla Yameen. Minister Ismail claimed the previous survey for the project had not fell short of feasibility. During Yameen's administration, plans for the project commenced on some level while the then government attempted to seek potential investors.