Government promises jobs to Maldivians in new Thilafushi port

The government has assured jobs to Maldivians in a new commercial port to be built by a Emirati company on Thilafushi island.

MP of the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives, Ahmed Nihan, said the chairman of Dubai Ports (DP) World has said Maldivians would be involved in the management of the port.

The Dubai-based marine terminal operator signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Maldivian government last month to develop a port at Thilafushi as a free trade zone.

“He said Maldivians would also be sent to countries like Dubai, Hong Kong, and Korea for training. This would be a great encouragement for Maldivians to develop our human resources,” the majority leader of parliament was quoted as saying.

The relocation and development of the central port would not harm the domestic economy, he added.

DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem met MPs of the Progressive Party of Maldives yesterday during an unofficial visit to the Maldives.

Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb and Economic Development Minister Mohamed Saeed also participated in the meeting. The former is the chairman of the government’s Special Economic Zones’ investment board.

According to the local daily, Sulayem also expressed interest in investing in other ‘mega projects’ announced by the government such as the ‘I-Havan’ transhipment port in the northernmost atoll.

“The Maldives has been growing rapidly, driven largely by its tourism development. We are working with them to help diversify the economy through building infrastructure, logistics and transport links needed to make this happen,” Sulayem said in a press statement last month.

“The UAE has much experience and expertise in this area thanks to the vision of our leaders to explore new growth strategies. We are proud to share our expertise with the Maldives as they develop their capabilities in the global supply chain industry.”

Adeeb told local media last month that DP World has agreed to complete the project within two years of signing a joint venture agreement with the Maldives Ports Limited.

A timeline for the project has been agreed upon and the MoU was signed with a view to signing the joint venture agreement in a month, he said.