President Mohamed Muizzu’s aim is to expand the economy from US$6 billion to US$12 billion, Mohamed Saeed, Minister of Economic Development and Trade said on Thursday.

Speaking at the project inauguration for the development of Velana International Airport which would seek to attract ’25 million passengers’, Saeed said Maldives needs to attract four to five million tourists annually to reach that goal.

Saeed said the correlation between national productivity and tourist arrivals, according to data, is 95 percent accurate.

“The figure says this decision should be taken by the President. The vision the President brings is a very broad vision of him thinking about the solution to the industry; [to address] the industry complaints, airlines complaints, cargo industry complaints,” he said.

Saeed said the project would address airline concerns that jet fuel is expensive to buy in Maldives, and as a result cargo imports will rise and the visitor-based economy will expand, he said.

“This project will create huge opportunities for the development of a transit market in Maldives,” he said. In addition to the, Sun, Sand and Sea, unique selling proposition, Maldives will have advantages that its competitors do not have in the transit market, Saeed said.