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Current Affairs

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Maldives for Shipping

Date: 04 July 2019 Tags: India & World

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval for MoU between India and Maldives for establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea. The MoU was signed in June 2019 during official state visit of Prime Minister Modi to Maldives.

Features of MoU

It will pave way for starting ferry services for tourists as well as cargo between Maldives and Kerala (India) by Connecting Kochi with Male and Kulhudhuffushi in Maldives by Sea route. The proposed ferry service will contribute in big way to promote people to people (P2P) contact and to boost bilateral trade.

Background

India is leading development partner of Maldives and has established many of leading institutions of Maldives. Currently, India has provided US $100 million Stand-by Credit facility (SCF) to Maldives, including long-term loans and revolving credit for trade.

Connectivity between two countries at present: It is through flights to Male and sea planes to resorts, which is an expensive option.

Sea Connectivity with Kochi through sea: It will help to promote inbound tourism, particularly health and wellness tourism for India. Besides, large number of Maldivians also travel to Kerala and other South Indian cities for educational purposes.

Significance of places: Male  is the capital and most populous city of Maldives is situated at a distance of 708 Kms from Kochi, Kulhudhuffushi is the third most populous city of Maldives located is 509 Kms away. Kulhudhuffushi and islands around it are major population centre in northern part of Maldives and have large number of resorts which could be possible tourist destinations for Indians.