Establishment of the ferry service will boost trade between India and Maldives and revitalise the Maldivian economy

Taking forward India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, the first ever cargo ferry service between India and Maldives opened on September 26 starting a new chapter in the relationship between the two countries. The Shipping Corporation of India’s cargo vessel MCP Linz reached the northern Maldivian town of Kulhudhuffushi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih celebrated the new beginning saying that it will give a boost to the ongoing cordial relationship between both nations.

Calling it a “dream come true,” PM Modi said that it would continue to strengthen their friendship.

PM Modi took to twitter and wrote, “It is indeed a happy day, President @ibusolih! Our dream of a direct ferry service between India and Maldives is now a reality. I have no doubt that it will promote bilateral trade and boost our economies. The Maldives-India friendship will continue to strengthen.”

PM Modi’s tweet came as a reply to Maldivian President Solih’s response to the opening of the service. President Solih had thanked the initiative by the Indian government hoping it would bring greater prosperity to the communities of the countries.

In a tweet he wrote, “Our thanks to Prime Minister @narendramodi and Government of India as the Maldives-India Cargo Ferry Service goes on its maiden voyage today between Kulhudhuffushi, Male and South India. The ferry would further strengthen Maldives-India friendship and bring greater prosperity to our communities.”

The Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid also welcomed the step taken by the governments of both nations. He said, “The cargo ferry service between the Kulhudhuffushi, Male’ and southern ports of India, first envisioned by President @MohamedNasheed and realised by President @ibusolih will bring monumental benefits to the people of the Maldives, especially the Northern islands.”

Thanking the Indian government for facilitating this “extraordinary project,” he wrote, “The backbone of this Ferry Service” is the people-to-people contact between India and Maldives. I offer my immense gratitude to the Gov of India for their support in facilitating this extraordinary project. Thank you to all our national stakeholders for their work in realising this.”

The establishment of the ferry will boost trade between India and Maldives and revitalise the Maldivian economy, the Maldivian foreign minister said in a tweet.

He wrote, “A new road for age-old friends is what we embark upon today. Today, we marked the historic maiden voyage of the Maldives-India Cargo Ferry Service. The establishment of this ferry will boost #MaldivesIndia trade, as well as revitalise the economy of northern Maldives.”

The vessel which reached Maldives on September 26 connects India’s Tuticorin and Cochin ports to Kulhudhuffushi in Maldives. The ferry service is being seen by many as an opportunity for both the countries to explore each other’s trade and investment capacities while establishing contact between the people of both countries.