India Copies China Belt & Road Initiative Loan and Development Blueprint for Maldives Islands Connectivity Infrastructure
The Maldives ‘Greater Male Connectivity Project’
The Maldives Island nation chain has received commitments from neighbouring India to build crucial infrastructure projects and invest in the Maldives in a counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
India plans to help construct the Indian Ocean archipelago’s biggest civilian infrastructure project that will connect the capital Male with three neighboring islands Villingili, Gulhifahu, and Thilafushi with a 6.7-kilometer bridge and causeway.
The project promises to fundamentally change the Maldives’ economy and topography surrounding Male through greater connectivity. The plan is part of India’s commitment to invest US$100 million as a grant to develop the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP).
India will also provide a US$400 million line of credit to the Maldives. A new industrial zone will be constructed on the island of Thilafushi, while a port will be built on the other two islands with Indian assistance.
Following the rise of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in November 2018, the archipelago has sought to review several Chinese BRI projects initiated by his predecessor Abdulla Yameen.
The Maldives are a sought-after tourism destination, yet also subject to rising sea levels. The Maldives government as in the past discussed purchasing land in South India in order to resettle Maldive nationals if necessary to the Indian mainland.
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