Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has pledged to recommence the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) law in his presidency, which was first implemented under former President Abdulla Yameen's administration.
The Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC) coalition made the pledge on Sunday evening, September 17.
While addressing the residents of Shaviyani Atoll Funadhoo during his campaign visit, Dr. Muizzu pledged to explore investment opportunities through the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) law. He said that despite the SEZ law being in effect previously without attracting investments, the provisions of the law now ensures its feasibility and effectiveness.
"After re-establishing the law, we will open investment opportunities to target specific zones in the Maldives which would bring prosperity to the country," Dr. Muizzu added.
Dr. Muizzu, who is also the Malé City Mayor, once again reiterated his policy for a regional development concept for the Maldives to ensure sustained progress. He pledged to develop a 20-year master plan to realize the policy, which would focus on key developmental projects in the north, south, and central areas where urban centers will be developed to facilitate the initiatives.
While speaking about his economic policies, Dr. Muizzu pledged to develop a designated office complex for local small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs). He promised to rent units from the complex at affordable rates to businesses, and establish co-working spaces in the complex as well.
Dr. Muizzu also highlighted that urban development was not enough without addressing social issues, especially the case of surging drug abuse among Maldivian youth.
He promised to combat drug abuse among the locals.
"We will allocate special budget provisions to address the issue of drug abuse among the youth. Our aim is to eliminate this problem from our community and enhance the quality of drug rehabilitation centers and programs. Additionally, we will allocate funds to combat drug smuggling and trafficking operations targeting the Maldives," Dr. Muizzu said.
"Eliminating drug abuse from our society will foster a safer community and cultivate a thriving generation of youth."
Dr. Muizzu also pledged special efforts to rehabilitate youths who are newly introduced to crime.
"We will develop better rehabilitative and restorative mechanism, similar to those in other countries, to assist individuals in reclaiming their place in society, rather than simply punishing them," the opposition coalition candidate said.
Dr. Muizzu also said the prison system was a hindrance to those criminals seeking reform.
"It is a grave injustice to them. Unless we don't bring an end to this, their families would not get relief," Dr. Muizzu said.