Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra visits the Maldives

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has visited the Maldives in the first such visit by a Thai leader since the establishment of diplomatic relations 34 years ago.

Following a meeting on Friday, President of the Maldives Dr Mohamed Waheed announced the two countries had signed seven agreements, mostly relating to trade and economic cooperation.

“Thailand is one of the largest trading partners of the Maldives. Nearly 30 percent of our exports go to Thailand. And we would like to increase that number significantly in the coming years,” said Dr Waheed.

Shinawatra noted that trade between Thailand and the Maldives was worth US$100 million, and expressed an interest in this doubling by 2018.

Dr Waheed expressed interest in a visa waiver, and said he welcomed further Thai investment in the Maldives, including the tourism sector.

“We also discussed the need for expanding investment in other sectors, such as food processing, infrastructure development, construction, and health care,” Waheed said.

“I was pleased to see the agreement signed between the ADK Hospital and the Thonburi Hospital. I would like to encourage more Maldivian companies to enter into similar understanding with foreign partners that would allow sharing of experience and expertise,” he added.

“The Thai Exim-Bank was the major investor in the Hulhumale’ development project. The Bank’s role in the project would come to an end next year. We welcome Thai Exim-Bank’s investment in other large-scale infrastructure projects,” Dr Waheed added.

Thailand’s Minister of Defence, Air Chief Marshal Sukampol Suwannathat, meanwhile visited the Maldives National Defence Force’s hospital, and its training centre on the island of Girifushi.


6 thoughts on “Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra visits the Maldives”

  1. Smash Buddhist sculptures while making deals with Buddhists? Dhivehistan, your hypocrisy is unrivalled. Where's the Guardian Council's paranoid press release about spreading Buddhism and cracking the fortress of Islam? LOL.

  2. The first visit after three decades from the kingdom of Thailand shouldn't excite us but raise eyebrows, and simply cements our failure in international relations.

    Banyan Tree was probably one of the first 5 star chain of resorts into Maldives decades ago. Garment imports, dry food imports, and frequent leisure trips to Thailand have been in existence for many decades but lawmakers failed to establish economical ties with this rich , great country. When you speak of Thailand to any middle class Maldivian, it relates to the, and shopping. You ask the rich Maldivian, well, its a destination for high-end medical care.

    100 million dollars of annual business is a needle in a hay sack. If we played our cards right and stopped dependency on charity from Arab countries, we would be doing probably ten times that amount.

    I salute the beautiful Prime Minister for her brief stopover, unfortunately she came at a time when Maldives is uncertain who will negotiate future business and enforce the seven agreements signed. What agreements???

    Let us look at reality rather than the usual political game which may benefit a few during the elections. The Maldives government (not the rich private companies) is desperately in need of assistance in key sectors: Health, Education, Energy, Housing, Environment management and means to stop human tracking.

    1) ADK signs a deal with Thonburi hospital. How will this benefit a pregnant Maldivian somewhere 500 miles in a local island that doesn't even have a mid-wife or first aid facilities?, or a heart patient who may need immediate cardio attention? a thelesimic patient who needs blood? 90% of us fortunate to live in Male cannot even afford medication at ADK especially with their deliberate demands of doing tests and tests!!! Paradoxically, our only government hospital IGMH is left for the rats to populate, for day-light 'parteys' to rob patients off their possessions, for most low class Indian medical practitioners (in the name of doctors) to do their trials and experience on poor islanders. We need Thailand to assist Maldives in developing MEDICAL CENTERS in islands that can are equipped and easily accessed, to provide SCHOLARSHIPS to the young girls and boys (rated top in the world) at least to study nursing and go back to the islands to work in these centers, develop exchange barter systems where our fish can generate medical assistance in return.

    2) Thailand is so advanced in education and has top institutes in all educational fields. Less than 20 Maldivians study in Thailand. Over twenty thousand in Sri Lanka, India and Malaysia actually spending more money, and studying professions that don't offer jobs. Thailand education is cheap, mordern, structured and affiliated to top Universities worldwide. A TMA or MAT Maldivian pilot has to borrow from the rich to go study in a cheap college in Texas yet Thailand next door offers similar degrees, cheaper and more credited. Why did we overlook Thailand?

    3) Waste management. Solar energy technology, production industry are key areas Thailand has immense expertise. Does the Prime minister know that, the latest Thai investment (Centara Giraavaru Ras Fushi) is just a few hundred meters next to the biggest garbage island in the world? She should have been taken there, then see Thilafushi and then we request for assistance to manage out garbage. Nearly a week we have been breathing toxic bacteria air because municipality doesn't have finances to manage the garbage in Male. Good Exim bank financed Hulumale, but 30% of the street lights dont work, soon when the new chinese flats are given, most people wont afford the high rent and the down payment, so the benefit isnt credible.

    3) We are not going for war and we would never have war as long as India and china exist. SO why should MNDF and their families get the cream of the Thai investment, upgrade their hospital when 90% of inhabited islands have nothing in medical terms? We dont need guns and bullets. Since we have Iran on our back, we can get any weapons on the house!

    4) Assembling/Packing industry is an area Thailand should assist Maldives. Import raw materials or parts and then assemble for reexport. Maldives produces coconut in millions, the sweetest mangoes in the world are rotting on trees, fresh produce ends up in garbage forcing resorts to import! Hey, we need the technology to process these products and much of it can be exported. Why the hell are we importing canned mangoes, coconut juice, coconut oil, papaya pulp when we have the best quality in our back yard??? One mango processing factory on Formulak can generate enough income and jobs to feed 50% of its population. One factory in Thodu can change the water melon business. Mordern agriculture in big island can generate jobs, produce and income.

    5) Illegal immigrants are not welcomed in Thailand. Bangkok receives over 20 million visitors annually but no one dare mess around with immigration or work illegally. Why not get Thailand train our poorly equipped corrupted immigration system to a more honest, workable institution??? Media says we have forty thousand illegal Bangladeshis, yet 100-200 arrive every night on sri lankan or emirates flight!

    The day the short pant, bearded extremist fanatics smashed buddhist sculptures in the museum, is the day Maldives was hated from inside by all buddhists in the world. And believe me or not such acts have led to hatred and revenge. Just last week, muslims were burnt alive, and chased out of their homes in burma, indonesia..who did that? Buddhists, Why? have a look at the video when we destroyed what we all know is history, heritage, a peoples belief. If someone came and did any damage to Islmaic center, would we stand and look? No, we would torture the victims.

    Sorry i was carried away and angry because the lawmakers, the rich continue to play fool with the public and as the 'Wikileaks in Europe' enlightened the world of the dirty games, its important some of us speak out the truth.

  3. Facts: You think Buddhists burnt the mislims alive in burma was the revenge that was taken due to what had happened in Maldives ?

    You are talking bull shits ? They had done that even prior and attacks on Muslims by Buddhists elsewhere had nothing do to do with that.

    In fact that what had happened in 8th Feb., was in fact done by hard core Nasheed supporter with the hope that that it can be swing in the media to get the west, east support to Nasheed.


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