Economic Ministry has rented a land in the reclaimed suburb Hulhumale to develop a factory dedicated for local products.
At the signing ceremony of an agreement between the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the ministry, economic minister Mohamed Saeed said that five types of local products had been deemed with huge potential out of the products displayed at the Expo Maldives fair in 2014.
Saeed said that the land procured for this purpose will see the development of a SME industrial park that will be able to produce these five products and will provide offices for newly formed businesses.
"There are centers much like this in other areas of the Maldives. Our aim is to connect the center which will be built in Hulhumale' with these other centers. We want to see the conclusion of this project before the end of this year, with at least one product being produced in this factory. The biggest part of this project is done. We are procuring a fund for this through the Islamic Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank," the minister explained.
Saeed said while speaking on what type of goods the factory will produce that there is a market in the Maldives for soft toys, stating that the rest of the products were still in research phase. The Minister noted that coconut oil based cosmetics could also be produced, alongside salt.
"The most globally popular coconut oil based product in the world are cold pressed products, which are very clear. Hair cream, lotion and shampoo are also produced through coconut oil. Coconut oil has been proved to come in second only to the Maldivian fish in the past. The suntan lotions available in the Maldives are produced in other countries and imported here. However, the label "Suntan lotion from the Maldives" adds great value to the product. In the same light, Maldivian salt must have the same high value," Saeed said.
The Minister said that research was being conducted to see if any damages would be suffered by small businesses as a result of the factory. The Ministry said that it will move forward with the project in a mass scale, after the assurance that small businesses will also profit, thus opening further employment opportunities.