President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday stated the importance of commercial ports to the economy and cited that they are the cornerstones of most economic activities in every country. He made the remarks while speaking at the function to commemorate the 36th anniversary of Maldives Ports Limited (MPL).
The administration is undertaking numerous efforts to develop ports across the country to diversify and boost economic activity. Noting that completion of port expansion projects in Kulhudhuffushi City and Hithadhoo Island in Addu City will aid goods movement and distribution of freight in those regions, the President noted that a port development project is underway in Thinadhoo Island in the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.
The President also shared the latest on the administration’s efforts to resolve space constraints affecting the Malé Commercial Harbour operations. Land reclamation as part of the port relocation project to Gulhifalhu Island has been partially completed.
The President stated that the services of MPL will be strengthened and expedited with the relocation of the Malé Commercial Harbour, in addition to the north and south harbours to Gulhifalhu Island. Warehouses in Malé will also be relocated to Gulhifalhu as part of the project.
Speaking further, President Solih said that MPL is preparing to launch new services with the completion of the bulk terminal on Thilafushi island. The terminal will feature facilities for construction sector raw material importers. The President stated that the port relocation project would reduce industrial activities in Malé, help ease congestion and allow the repurposing of the land.
The President also extended his gratitude to the dedicated and hardworking staff of MPL. He said that the government held discussions with the management of MPL regarding the staff’s concerns about the MPL housing project and that he expected a favourable resolution.
In conclusion, the President expressed hope for the success of the administration's efforts to expedite economic growth, diversify the economy, and increase the wealth and prosperity of the nation.
The President also presented long service awards to 12 staff of MPL and received a model of the port as a token of appreciation. The ceremony also featured the launch of the port community fund, job portal, staff mobile application and the presentation of scholarships.