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China assures expanding flights and investment in Maldives

Mohamed Rehan
10 December 2023, MVT 09:46
Minister of Economic Development Mohamed Saeed with a senior official of the Chinese government; China agreed to increase its flight operations to the Maldives and assist in Maldives' development projects-- Photo: X/Mohamed Saeed
Mohamed Rehan
10 December 2023, MVT 09:46

The government of China has assured to increase flight operations to and invest in developmental projects in the Maldives to expand the country's tourism and commerce, said Minister of Economic Development Mohamed Saeed.

The minister made the statements via X after various meetings with senior officials of the Chinese government. Minister Saeed attended the "China-Indian Ocean Region Forum on Development Cooperation" along with Vice President Hussain Mohamed Latheef, who lead the Maldivian delegation.

In his post on X, the minister said China assured that it would increase flight operations to the Maldives, seek additional investment avenues, and assist in further urban development projects under the presidency of Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.

The minister assured the results from the agreements between the Maldives and China would become visible in future.

"Hopeful days are ahead with progressive changes in result, God willing," Minister Saeed added.

China maintained a close relationship with the Maldives during the administration of former President Abdulla Yameen, as a result of which the country became the benefactor of the largest infrastructure development project in the Maldives at the time, the Sinamalé Bridge project that connected Malé City with Hulhulé and Hulhumalé.

The bridge was constructed through a loan and aid granted by the Chinese government. Additionally, the Hiyaa housing flats developed at Hulhumalé 2 were developed through another loan issued by the Chinese government, and the project initiated under Yameen's presidency.

However, Yameen's successor, former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, shifted the Maldives' foreign affairs to lean closer to India. This resulted in China being distanced from executing major infrastructure development projects in the Maldives in the past five years.