First Consulate In The Maldives To Be Opened Soon

First Consulate In The Maldives To Be Opened Soon

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First Consulate In The Maldives To Be Opened Soon

A meeting of the Union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared the proposal for opening the first such consulate in Addu City of the Maldives this year to augment the country’s diplomatic presence in the Indian Ocean archipelago

The Indian government on Tuesday approved the opening of a new consulate in Addu City of the Maldives this year to augment the country’s diplomatic presence in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

A meeting of the Union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared the proposal for opening the first such consulate in the Maldives, which has an important place in the government’s “Neighbourhood First” policy.

“Opening of a consulate general in Addu City will help augment India’s diplomatic presence in Maldives and make it commensurate with the existing and aspired level of engagement,” an official statement said.

“This is also a forward-looking step in pursuit of our national priority of growth and development or ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’. Augmentation of India’s diplomatic presence will…provide market access for Indian companies and bolster Indian exports of goods and services,” the statement added.

The opening of the consulate will also have a “direct impact in augmenting domestic production and employment in line with our goal of a self-reliant India or Atmanirbhar Bharat,” according to the statement.

India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links steeped in antiquity. Maldives occupies an important place in the ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’ and the ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision of the Government of India.

Indians are the second largest expatriate community in the Maldives, with an approximate strength of 22,000. About 25% of doctors and teachers in the Maldives are Indians.

India is currently implementing large infrastructure projects worth $2 billion, such as ports, roads, bridges, water and sanitation, in the Maldives. Bilateral relations have also benefited from President Ibrahim Solih’s “India First” policy.

The Maldives also received considerable assistance from India since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was the first country to receive made-in-India vaccines in January, when New Delhi gifted 100,000 doses. This was preceded by health and humanitarian assistance provided in 2020, including nearly 12 tonnes of medicines, and a soft loan of $250 million for budgetary support.