India extends $1.4 billion assistance to Maldives

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 17, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.   -  REUTERS

Agree to promote cooperation in various sectors; also signed pact to facilitate visas

India will extend financial assistance worth $1.4 billion to Maldives in order to help meet its "socio-economic developmental needs’’.

The package was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday marking the visit of newly elected Maldives President Ibrahim Solih to New Delhi.

“I am happy to announce that India will extend financial assistance of $1.4 billion to the Maldives in the form of budgetary support, currency swap agreements and concessional lines of credit, for its social and economic development,” Modi said in his press statement following the meet with Solih.

It is hopeful that Solih will restore friendly relations between India and Maldives which took a hit during his predecessor Abdulla Yameen’s tenure, who was close to China and benefited from their assistance.

Solih defeated Yameen in the elections in September this year. This is his first foreign visit after assuming office.

Solih reaffirmed his government’s "India-First Policy”, and commitment to working together closely.

 “He appreciated the generous assistance provided by the Government of India to Maldives, and identified various areas for developmental cooperation, including private sector involvement in development of housing and infrastructure, water and sewerage systems in the outlying islands, healthcare, education and tourism,” according to the joint statement issued by the two leaders following their bilateral meeting.

The pacts

The two also signed four agreements, which includes, facilitating visas and increasing cooperation in the field of IT and electronics, on Monday.

Solih said the visa agreements will facilitate many Maldivians who send their children to school in India, to be able to accompany them and those who come to India for medical treatment.

Both leaders emphasised the need to ensure seamless movement of people between both countries.

Modi welcomed the expanding opportunities for Indian companies to invest in the Maldives in different sectors for the mutual benefit of both countries.

“The Prime Minister noted that the vision of the government of Maldives, of a transparent, accountable, and rule-based administration sends a welcome message to regain the confidence of Indian business persons,” the joint statement said.

Both leaders agreed to promote closer economic cooperation in sectors such as fisheries development, tourism, transportation, connectivity, health, education, information technology, new and renewable energy and communications.

Published on December 17, 2018

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