India targets South Asian energy security boost with regional loan plans

Indian authorities have unveiled plans to offer US$1oo million loans to neighbouring countries like the Maldives for the development of infrastructure like roads and power, according to media reports.

The Indian Express newspaper reported today that the development loan announced this week at a meeting  in Male’ of the South Asia Free Trade Area Ministerial Council in order to outline credit cover for various nations at levels of interest close to the regularly updated London Inter Bank Offer Rate.

The report has claimed that the funds, which will be supplied by India-based Exim bank, would be used to try and bolster energy security among the member nations of the South Asian Association For Regional Cooperation (SAARC), particularly across national borders.

Indian officials also reportedly used the meeting to call for the lifting of trade barriers across the SAARC region in areas such as textiles, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, electronic goods and car production.