HomeGlobal Defence UpdatesMaldives signs deal with China for redeveloping airport

Maldives signs deal with China for redeveloping airport

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The Maldives has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China for redeveloping an airport, days after it reached out to India for ensuring daily supplies.

The Maldives government signed the MoU with China CAMC Engineering Co Ltd on Thursday for the redevelopment of Maldives Kadhdhoo Airport.

The redevelopment of Kadhdhoo domestic airport into an international airport entails a 2.45-km runway with a terminal capable of handling 300 passengers during peak hours, according to a press release by the Maldives President’s Office.

Interestingly, Maldivian foreign minister Moosa Zameer had on April 6 said that India’s gesture to renew the quota to allow the export of certain quantities of essential commodities for his nation signifies the long-standing bilateral friendship and the commitment to further expand trade and commerce. A major tourism body in the island nation has also announced that it will hold roadshows across Indian cities to woo back Indian tourists.

Chinese presence in the Maldives has been expanding within days of President Mohamed Muizzu entering office in the last quarter of 2023, much to India’s discomfort.

This March, China signed a defence cooperation agreement with the Maldives. As part of the deal, China would provide the Maldives with free military assistance to foster “stronger” bilateral ties. China has also gifted 12 eco-friendly ambulances and 10 civil vehicles to the Maldives.The Maldives also recently signed an MoU with China Tianying Inc to collaborate on environmental protection efforts. On March 27, it was reported that Maldives Housing Development Corporation has contracted China Machinery Engineering Corporation with major projects in Hulhumale phase 3 under an agreement. There are also reports that China will develop roads in the capital Male for free.

Earlier this year, China and the Maldives also signed an FTA, which can further increase the island nation’s debt to China.

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