Maldivian Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer on Thursday lauded Indian assistance in developmental projects carried out in Maldives. In his remarks at the inaugural session of the Asia Economic Dialogue 2023 here, he said that developmental projects in Maldives carried out by Indian assistance is geared towards future growth.
"India and Maldives share a unique bond based on mutual respect, trust and understanding that goes beyond simple geographical, historical and cultural ties. And as the honourable minister Dr Jaishankar mentioned that there is a fundamental difference between the developmental projects that we are carrying with the Indian assistance.
"I believe that is that the developmental projects that we are carrying with the Indian assistance is mainly geared towards future growth which is very important," he added.
Ameer stated that the development projects include Greater Male connectivity project which will transform Maldivian economy. He said that Maldives is also developing two airports, one in the North and one in the South.
According to Ibrahim Ameer, Hanimaadhoo International Airport will have a capacity of 1.8 to 2.1 million tourists a year. He said that South Gan International Airport being developed with the assistance of a line of credit facility from Exim will have a capacity of 1.8 million.
"Now we are a six billion dollar economy. But, when we do these international airports in the north and in the south in a few years time, let's say in 5-10 years, we are looking at not a six billion dollar economy. I believe we are looking at let's say 15-20 billion dollar economy and also we have very important basic infrastructure, sanitation projects," Ameer said.
"When we came into the government in the end of 2018, we had only around 30 per cent of our country had proper water and sanitation projects but now with the assistance of Indian Exim, we currently have water and sanitation projects in all of the other 70 per cent of the islands," he added.
In his remarks at the inaugural session of the Asia Economic Dialogue, he said that three things that bother him are climate change, external shocks which he stressed are the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia Ukraine war and developmental efforts. He further said, "how do we make sure there is a continuation of our developmental projects."
Notably, the inaugural Session of the Dialogue was a conversation between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Bhutan Finance Minister Lyonpo Namgay Tshering and Ibrahim Ameer. The Asia Economic Dialogue (AED) is the Ministry of External Affairs' annual flagship event on Geoeconomics, co-hosted in collaboration with Pune International Centre. The 7th edition of the Asia Economic Dialogue is being held from 23-25 February 2023 in Pune. (ANI)