Mayor Muizzu delivering address at 2022 Executive Bureau Meeting of UCLG ASPAC

Secretariat of the Male' City Council09 Jun 2022

Mayor Muizzu recalls benefits of 'Belt and Road Initiative' to the development of vital infrastructure in Male' City

Speaking at the 2022 Executive Bureau Meeting of the Asia Pacific region of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) organisation, the Mayor of Male' City, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has recalled the benefits to Male' City from the 'Belt and Road Initative' of the Chinese Government. Dr. Muizzu joined the meeting via video conferencing, and took the floor during the first day's session on cities' cooperation under the 'Belt and Road Initiative'.

Noting that, in 2014, the Maldives became one of the first partner members of both the Belt and Road Initiative and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Dr. Muizzu highlighted that, as the then Minister of Housing and Infrastructure, he was entrusted with the implementation and management of some of the biggest projects in the country's history. He said that large infrastructure developments such as the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge had transformed the capital city of Male', and that the country's membership of the 'Belt and Road Initiative' had boosted the lives and livelihoods of the residents of Male' City.

"Ours is the story of visionary leadership, bilateral cooperation and shared commitment", Dr. Muizzu pointed out. He added that the funding acquired through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was also pivotal to the speedy implementation of these project, and recalled with pride his role as the country's Governor to AIIB.

Emphasising the importance of city-to-city cooperation, the Mayor spoke about the sister city arrangement between Male' and Suzhou City in China. "Male’ City enjoyed enhanced cooperation with Suzhou in China – a collaboration that led to exchange of information, training of personnel, improvement in business ties and enhancement of investment", he said.

In his intervention, Dr. Muizzu called for low carbon growth in large cities, and related some of the experiences of Male'. "In every initiative, special emphasis was placed on low carbon growth, given the city’s fragile environment and the need to raise awareness on sustainable development and the SDGs", he noted. "Some examples include street lighting, where we now have a vision to migrate to solar power and LED lighting", he added.