President Mohamed Muizzu, under the powers vested in him under the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act of 2014, has established the Maldives International Financial Services Authority (MIFSA) in a bid to provide off-shore financing services in the Maldives.

The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade will govern the agency, with the President having originally announced his intention on 4 January, that the authority would be established at Funadhoo Island across Malé with its current fuel storage facility moved elsewhere—the fuel storage will be moved to Maagirifalhu, the President’s Office said on Sunday.

MIFSA was established to develop a legal framework for the provision of onshore financing services, in addition to offshore financing services, mentioned in the SEZ Act (Law No. 24/2014), according to the President’s Office. “The establishment of the Maldives International Financial Services Authority would enable the formation of offshore and onshore development banks, and international financial centres, and conduct research to seek modern solutions for the legal and administrative challenges of establishing a competitive system to develop financial markets,” it said.

President Muizzu had highlighted that, “Making the island an international financial centre and opening Funadhoo up to development is part of our vision.”

Speaking at the inauguration of the third phase of the development at Velana International Airport (VIA), the President said his aim is to establish international financial centres in the Maldives.

“The Maldives International Financial Services Authority will be the first step towards establishing international financial centres in the Maldives,” he said.

In addition, the President said that the administration would establish a re-export SEZ at the reclaimed area in Thilafushi, through the Maldives Industrial Free Zone Company.

“We will look to create synergy with other opportunities and turn that into an international re-export SEZ,” he said.