India-Maldives: Ever since the Ibrahim Solih took over as the President of Maldives (1), India-Maldives ties are mending, ousting the Yameen administration. During a video conference, the External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar has announced a financial package for the Maldives. The growing partnership between India-Maldives is a clear indication of the relationship getting stronger between two crucial acquaintances in the Indian Ocean. The move has sent a clear and audible message to China that its influence is reduced on the Maldives.
India-Maldives: The Financial Package to Support the Implementation of Maldives’ Greater Male Connectivity Project
During a video conference between the foreign ministers of India and Maldives, Dr. S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, announced a financial package for the Maldives. It consists of 100 million USD grant and 400 million USD to support the GMCP implementation in the island nation.
It would be the largest civilian infrastructure project of the Maldives that would connect Male with its three neighboring islands. Male is the capital of Maldives, and the GMCP project would connect Male with Villingili, Gulhifahu, and Thilafushi. Indian Loc is building the Gulhifahu port, and Thilafushi is a new industrial zone. The Ministry of External Affairs further said in a statement that the bridge-causeway link construction is spanning 6.7 km.
After its completion, the GMCP would streamline the connectivity between the four islands that would boost its economic activity. It would prompt urban development in Male by generating more employment.
Foreign Minister Shahid said that the GMCP would create a new milestone for India-Maldives ties.
He further deepened his appreciation and said that the move would anchor the Maldives’ transformation by economics and industries. The President of Maldives also thanked PM Modi on twitter for the financial package along with his generosity and friendship.
The move is having a significant and positive impact on the India-Maldives relationship. Indian Government is looking forward to financing more projects in the Maldives under various schemes. During the Maldives visit in June 2020, PM Modi announced a proposal to start a Ferry service between India and Maldives. As per the sources, the decision to start the cargo ferry between India-Maldives is made in the view of PM Modi’s commitment.
India-Maldives ties build trust and focus on shared interest to make a partnership of development as opposed to China’s dependence partnership.