President Solih unveils vision to transform Addu City into regional economic hub

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih unveiled ambitious plans on Sunday to transform Addu City into a thriving regional economic hub, signaling a pivotal moment for the nation’s progress. Speaking at the inauguration of the Gan International Airport (GIA) expansion project, the President emphasized the urgent need to revitalize the primary gateway to the southern atolls.

Acknowledging the airport’s rich history while drawing attention to its stagnant growth in recent years, the President underscored the pressing reality of the airport’s underutilization. Under his administration, GIA will undergo a significant makeover, equipped with modern amenities to cater to an estimated 1.5 million tourists. This visionary project signifies the strong and enduring bilateral relationship between the Maldives and India, laying the foundation for future commerce and tourism expansion.

President Solih outlined a series of transformative initiatives aimed at doubling the nation’s economy within a decade. The strategic development of GIA is a crucial component of these efforts, ensuring that the necessary services and infrastructure are in place to meet the future needs of commerce and tourism.

The President highlighted the pivotal role GIA’s development will play in facilitating the smooth export of yellowfin tuna caught by fishermen in the southern atolls. By integrating the ongoing development of the Addu Fisheries Complex and the GIA cold storage cargo facility services, the fishing community will gain access to effective solutions for their current challenges.

Moreover, President Solih revealed that the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) will commence development work in July, aiming to double its brine freezing capacity from 50 to 100 metric tonnes. The anticipated completion of the MIFCO fish harbor by August will provide enhanced facilities for the fishing industry, further bolstering its potential for growth.

The President also drew attention to the integrated tourism development project in Addu City, which includes the development of five additional islands alongside Hankede. This comprehensive initiative demonstrates a multi-faceted approach to Addu City’s progress, with concurrent implementation of various projects to ensure its successful realization.

As part of ongoing efforts to improve air connectivity throughout the Maldives, the President announced the strategic decision to develop an airport on Beriyanfaru Island in the Raa Atoll. This move reflects the administration’s commitment to facilitating convenient travel and bolstering the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

President Solih’s vision for Addu City and the wider Maldives showcases a steadfast dedication to driving economic growth, fostering tourism, and addressing the needs of vital industries. With comprehensive development plans and strategic initiatives, the nation is poised to embark on a new era of prosperity and progress.