GMR surprised with decision to give airport development to Chinese firm

Indian infrastructure company GMR has told media of its surprise that the development of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) has been given to a Chinese firm.

“Sources in the GMR expressed surprise at the move by the Maldives government as it has entered in a new contract for construction work at airport without paying damages as suggested by the tribunal,” wrote the Economic Times today.

The preliminary contract agreement for the development of the airport was one of eight MoUs signed between the Chinese and Maldivian governments during the recent presidential visit by the Chinese President Xi Jinpeng.

The terms of the agreements have not yet been released to the media, though it was revealed that the new contract to develop the airport was given to Beijing Urban Construction Company Limited.

President Xi’s visit to the Maldives – part of his South Asia – tour was reported to have added to Indian concerns regarding Chinese ambitions in the region.

India’s GMR recently won the arbitration case filed against the Maldivian government claiming compensation for the premature termination of its airport development agreement made in 2012 during former President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration.

The company’s significant development plans included the construction of a new terminal and investment plans in excess of US$500 million.

The two phase arbitration case will now focus on determining the compensation owed by the government, with GMR claiming US$1.4 billion, a figure which amounts to around half the Maldives’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Arbitration relations

Speaking about the arbitration case, Attorney General (AG) Mohamed Anil said that the compensation has been limited by a clause inserted during the original agreement, suggesting that the amount will not go up to the full amount being claimed.

Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb has since assured that the government has the capacity to pay the compensation.

“Our economy will grow with the special economic zone bill, and our government will become rich, we will overcome our budget deficit and god willing we will be able to pay any amount we have to,” he said shortly after the ruling in June.

GMR initiated the tribunal at a Singaporean Court after former President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s administration concluded that the GMR contract was void, giving the company seven days to leave the airport.

Speaking at a press conference, then AG Azima Shukoor stated that the decision to terminate the contract was reached after considering “technical, financial and economic” issues surrounding the agreement.

In response, GMR released a statement saying that the cabinet’s decision was “unilateral and completely irrational.”

The GMR case also appeared to prompt a cooling in diplomatic relations between India and the Maldives, with India tightening visa regulations for Maldivian travelers claiming that that decision had been made to draw attention to the treatment of expatriate workers within the Maldives.

While relations have improved during the presidency of Abdulla Yameen, Indian officials were reported to have expressed concern over President Xi’s visit this week – the first by a Chinese head of state to the Maldives.

“We’ve been off the ball a bit on the Maldives, and things are tricky again,” an official told the Telegraph. “The Chinese President’s visit to the Maldives is emblematic of that simmering unease.”

During his visit President Xi urged the Maldives to become part of his 21st century maritime silk road project, as well as signing an MoU for the promotion of a bridge between Malé and Hulhulé islands. Xi expressed his hope that the bridge would be named the ‘China-Maldives Friendship Bridge’


12 thoughts on “GMR surprised with decision to give airport development to Chinese firm”

  1. We are more surprised how GMR got the airport in the first place ?

    GMR was disqualified in the first round and then ended up wining the bid ? This is a big puzzle ?

    Maldives is not going to lick gmr a--.

  2. Fact of the matter is that GMR with its bad reputation even in India also has a PR challenge to confront, anywhere it goes. If a tiny country like Maldives can kick GMR out, it must be lacking something.. Even before wedding, everyone knew that GMR is not the pure virgin bride she claimed to be.

    ... its more surprising that GMR is surprised.

  3. All Indian company shall expel from Maldives. GMR just looks for money, because India has none!

    The bridge shall be named China Maldives friendship bridge, as acknowledgement for Chinese help to Maldives and a warning to India to remain far with corruption and counter US empire.

  4. Hero, you are a liar - that or you're being lied to. Either way, you're a sad sack.

    The Government of Maldives (under President Nasheed) decided to invite “Biddings/tenders” for privatization of Male Airport: Whichever foreign company agreed to share maximum profit with the Government, will get the contract to run the airport.

    But the bureaucrats of Maldives= had no prior experience of how to evaluate the financial, legal and technical worthiness of foreign bidders.

    So, the Government asked International Financial Corporation (IFC) to oversee the bidding process. (World Bank Link)

    IFC was tasked to manage the bidding process for privatization of the Male airport to ensure fairness.

    Big players such as GMR, Reliance and other companies from Switzerland etc. were in the competition.

    The whole bidding process, checking applications etc. went on for 10 months. There ARE no 'rounds'.

    Finally GMR of India, won the contract in 2010 (when Nasheed was the President of Maldives).

    But in your desperation for a cause (dheenattakaa gaumattakaa), you've forced Maldives to kiss up to BOTH China (nontransparent contracts) AND India (debt).

    Nice job breaking it, hero. Please go back to whatever cesspit you spawned from.

  5. The Chinese Maldives friendship bridge XD

    Rather the foundation for the Maldives money to China bridge.

    Some people here are really that much against India or that naive to believe China will help them out of the good of their hearts? Reality check needed!

  6. India and allies and ofcourse, the leach GMR; can’t just bear this relationship happening because Indian Embassy’s efforts of robbing Ibrahim Nasir International Airport using GMR as tool failed because of their greedy and colonial approach. MALDIVIANS are a proud people and will never accept to be subservient to India. Over my dead body to the say the least.

    Come on, who would today believe an Indian establishment when it states it has a contract for development of airport when its High Commissioner has a direct access to the President’s own office and quarters any whichever time he considers fit. It was not a development of an airport contract but a sale out contract of the whole treasury of Maldives where fees could be levied at will by GMR besides several other issues related to its own soverinity of the Maldives.

    Thanks President Xi of China for accepting invitation from President Yameen and visiting the Maldives; now seeing and feeling the Maldives in real.

    A greedy Indian Head of State would try to somehow bully Maldivians into a tricky loan situation or force an Indian multinational like TATA or a GMR to colonize the Maldives and create a situation of dependency to Indian will. Once they are in, it will be a difficult situation to get the stinker out.

    GMR you have already milked the Maldives enough and you shall not be paid a dime from now.

  7. It's the ant threatening the elephant. Bloody hilarious!!
    Do us cow worshippers a favour and:
    Don't buy Indian food products
    Don't but Indian medicines
    Don't buy Indian construction materials
    Don't buy Indian manufactured goods
    Don't import Indian motor vehicles or spare parts
    Don't watch Indian movies or listen to our music or buy our books
    Don't clog up our colleges and hospitals
    Don't pester our consular staff for bloody visas

    With one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world, any loss of business with Maldives is truly insignificant for us but will you survive?
    Now panic, panic, panic. Best to go on jihad to Iraq before its time to pay the compensation to GMR.
    Best of luck to the Xi Jinping International Airport project.

  8. Dear MissIndia Agrawal,

    Come on if you are so unto thinking that you don't care about what Maldives is worth to India is, why spend your precious time talking Jihad and Iraq and what not (nothing to do with the peaceful Maldivians)?

    You will be better off spending time and play Sidhartha to stop rape and killings on the India high ways

  9. @miss india

    do you know what their moronic vice president said.We dont give a s**t,we will go to singapore and thailand

  10. The Indian visa section is now closed permanently. Apply for medical and study visas at the Singapore and Thailand embassies.
    Good riddance.

  11. MIss-India-Agrawal-the-Thug of Indian High Commission in the Maldives is still bitchy about the bitterness in her/his mouth after GMR was forced out and as she/he can no longer benefit from the kickbacks he used receive from milking the Maldivian through GMR. Ha ha ha !! ! bye bye and adios


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