‘Large-scale projects undertaken by India in Maldives exemplary’: Maldives Foreign Minister
India continued to extend aid and assistance to the Maldives during the COVID-19 pandemic
The exemplary large-scale projects undertaken by New Delhi in the archipelagic nation are a fine symbol of the unique friendship between Maldives and India, Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said on Sunday.
Speaking through virtual teleconference at the Asia Economic Dialogue being held in Pune, Shahid commended India’s support to infrastructure projects that have been demand driven towards the government’s priorities.
Every effort has been made to ensure transparency and dialogue throughout the process while not sacrificing the speed, the Maldivian Minister recounted.
In addition to the large scale investments, India has offered grant assistance worth USD 12 million towards small-scale projects that are of high impact through two schemes. Such projects have enormous impact on the communities where they take place, he noted.
Pointing out that India’s support to the Maldives goes beyond the remit of financial assistance, Shahid said both countries are working towards strengthening bilateral trade, especially by boosting connectivity.
As the entire world is ravaged by wave-after-wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government and people of India have displayed selfless bravery and courage in the face of adversity, the Foreign Minister of Maldives acknowledged.
He explained how, while caring for their own, India continues to extend aid and assistance to the Maldives, a fine mark of the unique relationship between the two countries.
Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited Maldives February 20-22, where he met Shahid and finalized implementation of various infrastructure projects through India’s Lines of Credit.
A joint press statement said that the contract for construction of roads and drainage systems in Addu City was awarded during the EAM's visit. This construction project is the first of the eight major infrastructure projects being implemented jointly by the Maldives and India to be awarded.
The joint statement added that within six months of the announcement of India’s financial support to the Greater Male Connectivity- Male to Thilafushi Link Project (GMCP), the tender was also published.
During this visit, the two Ministers jointly inaugurated two projects financed with Indian grant assistance in Hulhumalé – the development of pathways, lighting and seating, as well as soft scaping of two sectors of the Hulhumalé Central Park, and the renovation of the Hulhumalé Westside Jetty.
Maldives welcomed India’s offer of a new line of credit of $40 million for development of sports infrastructure and noted that it will contribute in creating new sports infrastructure.
The two countries also signed an amendatory agreement for the $40 million Line of Credit signed in 2011.
Under this, the unutilized amount of $25.64 million under this Line of Credit, will be directed towards roads development projects in the Maldives.
They also signed a $50 million Dollar Credit Line Agreement between the Government of Maldives and EXIM Bank India.
A Letter of Intent between Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation and EXIM Bank was also signed towards extending a credit facility under EXIM Bank’s Buyer’s Credit scheme to support the design and construction of 2000 social housing units in Hulhumalé.