President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Monday, stressed the urgency of the public and private sectors cooperating to re-establish fisheries as an economic driving force in Maldives.
Speaking at the ceremony to inaugurate the Ensis Fish Processing Plant and Ice Plant at reclaimed suburb Hulhumale', President Solih reiterated the government's commitment to addressing the needs of local fishermen and supporting the private sector's efforts to advance the fisheries industry.
He remarked that industries such as tourism gained precedence over the historically significant fisheries sector in recent years due to the latter's inability to support drastic increase in fisheries activities.
The president elaborated that the economy suffered from a lack of processing capacity, leading to the export of unprocessed fish.
He noted that processing added value to exported fisheries products, thereby maximizing profits and ensured that fishermen received a better value for their catch.
Highlighting that Ensis is the first company to commence fish processing operations in the greater Male' region, President Solih commended Ensis for its role in developing the country's fisheries sector.
Following his address, President Solih toured the facility and observed the operations. The USD 25 million Fish Processing Plant will offer more than 400 job opportunities for locals with 175 being earmarked for women.
The ceremony was also attended by Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture Zaha Waheed, members from Ensis management, senior government officials and parliamentarians.