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Customs to play role in increasing GDP to USD12 billion: Saeed

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Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed has emphasised the pivotal role the Maldives Customs Service will play in doubling the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from USD6 billion to USD12 billion. He made the remarks while during a ceremony commemorating International Customs Day.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Saeed shared President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s plans to increase the Maldives’ GDP, outlining a focused approach on four key areas. These include bolstering the tourism sector, strengthening and expanding the maritime economy, enhancing air transshipment and cargo capabilities, and expanding the financial economy.

Additionally, Minister Saeed highlighted the significance of a new port in boosting imports and strengthening the maritime economy. He underscored the role of Customs in increasing air cargo and assured government support for transformation to align with a digital economy.

Meanwhile, Commissioner General of Customs Yoosuf Maniu Mohamed highlighted that Customs services has been modernised, with plans for further development and automation to enhance accuracy and decision-making processes.

During the ceremony, Customs launched the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) service and the implementation of an artificial intelligence system for goods classification, aimed at expediting and reinforcing customs services. In addition, World Customs Oraganisation Merit Certificates were presented to 17 Customs officers for outstanding contributions in line with the last year’s International Customs Day theme.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Maldives signs with Chinese firm for Laamu Integrated Maritime Hub Project

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Agreements pertaining to the Laamu Integrated Maritime Hub Project have been signed with a Chinese company, aiming to accomplish the commitments made by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. The contract laying groundworks for this transformative endeavor was signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) Mohamed Wajeeh and the General Manager of CAMC Engineering Li Wei Wei.

Outlined within the agreement are details of six subprojects:

  • Launching offshore bunkering services
  • Developing a cruise terminal
  • Establishing a super yacht marina
  • Developing Gaadhoo as an Eco-resort
  • Establishing a facility to store regionally produced food items
  • Building a transshipment port

Providing insight into the developmental project, CEO Wajeeh underscored MPL’s ongoing efforts to secure a relevant market. He envisioned attracting international shipping lines to the transshipment port, anticipating a significant economic boost from even a single shipping line. Discussions are also underway with cruise operators to initiate cruise terminal operations.

MPL disclosed proposals from two companies to assist in providing bunkering services. While Vitol Bunkering, currently involved in developing bunkering facilities in Haa Alif Atoll, is one of them, the second company expressing interest hails from Dubai.

The establishment of a commercial port and a harbor including logistics is a commitment outlined in the governments’ manifesto.

Source(s): PsmNews

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India approves highest-ever export quotas for essential commodities to Maldives

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India has approved highest-ever export quotas for essential commodities to Maldives for the year 2024-25, including eggs, wheat flour and onions, as well as river sand and stone aggregates.

In a statement on Friday, the Indian High Commission said the quota for export of essential commodities was renewed at the request of the Maldivian government.

“The approved quantities are the highest since this arrangement came into effect in 1981,” reads the statement.

The quota for river sand and stone aggregates, crucial items for the booming construction industry in the Maldives, have been increased by 1,000,000 MT. There has also been an increase of 5 percent in the quotas for eggs, potatoes, onions, sugar, rice, wheat flour and dal (pulses).

The export quota approved for 2024-25:

  • Eggs: 427,536,904.20
  • Potatoes: 21,513.08 MT
  • Onions: 35,749.13 MT
  • Rice: 124,218.36 MT
  • Wheat flour: 109,162.96 MT
  • Sugar: 64,494.33 MT
  • Dal: 224.48 MT
  • Stone aggregate: 1,000,000 MT
  • River sand: 1,000,000 MT

Despite global restrictions on the export of rice, sugar, and onions from India last year, New Delhi continued to provide these crucial commodities to the Maldives.

The high commission said the move underlines India’s strong committed to supporting human centric development in the Maldives, as part of its ‘Neighborhood First’ policy.

Maldivian Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer on early Saturday said India’s gesture to renew the quota to allow the export of certain quantities of essential commodities signifies the longstanding bilateral friendship, and the commitment to further expand trade and commerce.

“I sincerely thank EAM @DrSJaishankar and the Government of #India for the renewal of the quota to enable #Maldives to import essential commodities from India during the years 2024 and 2025. The newly approved quantities of essentials have been increased under the unique bilateral mechanism between the two countries, even as ties between Male and New Delhi remained tense in recent months,” Zameer said in a post on X.

His Indian counterpart, Dr. S. Jaishankar, responded that “India stands firmly committed to its Neighborhood First and SAGAR policies.”

Source(s): sun.mv

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Government to boost tourism promotion budget, expands global outreach

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Minister of Tourism Ibrahim Faisal has announced plans to strengthen the nation’s tourism promotion budget, with a focus on expanding outreach across various global regions.

Speaking to PSM News, Minister Faisal emphasised his dedication to amplifying tourist arrivals to the Maldives. Stressing the pivotal role of intensified marketing endeavors, he highlighted efforts to increase financial provisions for the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) from the state budget.

Additionally, Minister Faisal unveiled strategies to spotlight individual atolls in the Maldives for targeted tourism promotion. He outlined intentions to explore new tourist markets, with a particular focus on nations demonstrating substantial investment in this field. He also underscored plans to differentiate promotional campaigns for guesthouses and resorts, anticipating a significant increase in tourism figures over the next five years.

The government’s efforts to elevate the tourism sector are yielding promising outcomes, evidenced by a historic increase in tourist arrivals during the initial quarter of this year. Recent statistics reveal that over 600,000 tourists have visited the Maldives within this timeframe, signaling a noteworthy milestone in the nation’s tourism sector.

Source(s): PsmNews

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