President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has issued a new decree, lowering the minimum investment threshold for government-designated Special Economic Zones (SEZs) from USD 150 million to USD 100 million. The initial investment limit was set by former President Abdulla Yameen on January 31, 2018, and the recent decree revokes this earlier decision.
The updated decree, issued today, introduces a food security section in addition to the projects outlined in the 2018 resolution. Gas exploration (oil exploration) and renewable energy have been explicitly listed as separate categories under which projects can be undertaken within SEZs.
Projects eligible for implementation in SEZs include a diverse range of activities:
• Various types of manufacturing with export priority
• Transshipment port, international logistics, port, airport, bulk breaking, bunkering, and docking services
• University, tertiary hospital, world-class research and development facilities
• World-class Information Communication Technology (ICT Park) and ICT-related facilities
• International Financial Services and International Trade Centers
• Renewable energy sector
• Projects introducing technology not currently available in the Maldives
• Food Security Sector
• Gas exploration works
Under the SEZ Act, which came into effect in 2014, the President holds the authority to determine eligible projects within SEZs and the associated minimum investment thresholds. This latest development aims to enhance the investment landscape in SEZs, fostering economic growth and diversification.