Maldives today sought investments from Indian Ocean Region countries including India, in areas such as airports, ports and maritime projects with a view to increase economic cooperation.
“Maldives has a proud track record of welcoming FDIs, particularly from India. In fact, Indian investments played a pivotal role in the phenomenal economic growth of the Maldives over the last three decades,” Maldivian Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Mohamed Shainee, said here at Raisina Dialogue.
Seeking investments, he said many “large and ambitious” infrastructure projects are being developed or are in the pipeline which requires “financing that can be mobilised only externally.”
These are huge maritime projects that will enhance the Maldives’ ability to contribute effectively in maintaining stability in the Indian Ocean Region, he said.
Shainee emphasised that it is only through foreign investment that Maldives can achieve next level of economic development.
“Investors from neighbouring countries and indeed, from far corners of the world, come to the Maldives because the return on investment is high, investment recovery period is short, there is predictability and certainty on investment,” he said.
Disputes, whenever arise, get resolved through strict adherence to the rule of law under the supervision of international dispute settlement mechanisms.
“Our partnerships are not only with the investors. Indeed it is the government-to-government level partnerships that has facilitated the reach out to the private sector,” he said.
The Minister added that the bilateral partnerships with regional countries have helped the country to share a common perspective on the Indian Ocean Region.
Besides India, he said, Maldives also has significant investments from Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, the UK, the US, and increasingly from China.
“What is certain is that economic growth led by private investment in maritime infrastructure is the most important way that the Maldives will be transformed,” he said.
Stating that Maldives has significant stakes in the Indian Ocean Region, Shainee said: “Let us be clear. A stronger, stable, and prosperous Maldives is good for Indian Ocean Region, it is good for South Asia, and most of all, it is good for Maldivians.”
“An economically weak Maldives will be politically vulnerable, and that is not good for the security and stability of Indian Ocean,” Shainee said.
He noted that there would be more stability and peace in the region if Maldives and other small island states in the Indian Ocean Region become stronger.
“It is also the case that peace and security in the Indian Ocean Region is necessary for the economic development of the Maldives,” he added.
Source: Business Standard