Consultations are said to be underway to outline the economic viability of a proposed 30-hour ferry route between the Maldives and India designed to try and boost trade and tourism links between the two countries.
According to the Business Standard newspaper, Indian shipping authorities are looking into the possibility of running a passenger liner from the port of Cochin or Tuticorin as part of collaboration with their Maldivian counterparts to target both traders and tourist travel.
With any ferry service between the two destinations expected to last around 30 hours, research is ongoing into the possible benefits and demand for the services as a result.
Earlier this year, ferry services between India and Sri Lanka were restarted after a thirty year hiatus as part of aims to try and strengthen economic and diplomatic ties between the two different nations.
As part of the Maldives’ own commitments to hosting the 17th summit meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) this year in Addu City, the government has outlined “Building Bridges” – both in terms of physical connectivity and figurative political dialogue – as a key aim for the meeting.
Both India and Sri Lanka are SAARC embers along with the Maldives.