MoUs Between India-Maldives | 12 Nov 2020

Why in News

Recently, India and the Maldives have signed four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs).

Key Points

  • Four MoUs:
    • Two MoUs for High Impact Community Development Projects.
    • An MoU on Cooperation in Sports and Youth Affairs.
    • An MoU for a USD 100 million grant to fund the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP) which is the largest ever such infrastructure project undertaken in the Maldives.
      • GMCP is a financial package by India, consisting of a grant of USD 100 million and a new line of credit of USD 400 million.
      • This will be the largest civilian infrastructure project in the Maldives, connecting Malé (the capital) with three neighbouring islands viz. Villingili, Gulhifalhu (where a port is being built under Indian line of credit) and Thilafushi (new industrial zone) by the construction of a bridge-and-causeway link.
      • This will boost economic activity, generate employment and promote holistic urban development in the Malé region.
  • Other Recent Initiatives:
    • In April 2020, India supplied 6.2 tonnes of essential medicines to the Maldives, under Operation Sanjeevani to tackle the pandemic.
    • In May 2020, India under Mission Sagar, supplied food items and medical assistance teams to the countries in the southern Indian Ocean including the Maldives.
      • Indian Government assures that the Maldives will be among the first countries to receive Covid-19 vaccines as soon as one is developed in India.
    • In August 2020, the bilateral Air Travel Bubble was established which connects five Indian cities with Male through 13 weekly flights leading to a steep increase in the number of tourists.
      • Creating a travel bubble involves reconnecting countries or states which have shown a good level of success in containing the Covid-19 domestically.
      • Such a bubble would allow the members of the group to restart trade ties with each other and open travel and tourism.
    • In October 2020, both governments inked a deal for a USD 400 million line of credit from the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank), premier export finance institution of India.
      • The soft loans to the Maldives have funded connectivity, water, sewerage projects, Addu Development Project, an international cricket stadium, Gulhifalhu port, etc.
  • Significance:

Source: TH