NEW DELHI :
India manufactured anti-covid-19 vaccines have helped in the recovery of the Maldives tourism industry, the mainstay of the economy, Maldivian foreign minister Abdulla Shahid conveyed to his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar during talks in New Delhi on Friday.
Shahid who is on a two day visit also reviewed the status of ongoing India-assisted projects in the Maldives, a person familiar with the matter said. Currently, India is developing projects of $2billion spanning large infrastructure such as ports, roads, bridges, water and sanitation, as well as socio-economic development directly impacting livelihoods of Maldivians.
The two ministers “expressed satisfaction with growing number of Indian tourists visiting Maldives, which is aiding Maldivian economy in these difficult times. Under the bilateral air bubble arrangement, India is already the number one tourist market for Maldives with Indian tourists occupying 23% of international tourist arrivals in Maldives,” the person cited above said.
Shahid requested India to renew DGFT (directorate general of foreign trade) notifications “regarding assured supply of essential commodities to Maldives from India as per the bilateral trade agreement. Jaishankar assured that Indian commitment will be honored,” the person said.
The two ministers discussed all issues of mutual interest in the bilateral, regional and international context, the person said adding that the covid-19 pandemic and the possibility of Indian assistance were also discussed.
They also exchanged views on international organizations including the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Commonwealth and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and developments of common interest in the region.
Jaishankar also “re-affirmed India’s support for Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid candidacy as the President of 76th UN General Assembly,” the person added.