Silk road deal to be concluded in China-Maldives economic committee

The Maldives will officially join China’s Maritime Silk Road Project during the first ever China-Maldives joint commission on economy and trade in Beijing today.

A high level delegation of cabinet ministers left Malé yesterday evening (December 14), telling local media that the Maldives would officially join the trade route.

“With projects such as oil exploration and bridge construction in the agenda for discussion, the meeting will benefit economies of both countries. This is a great achievement to us as well,” Minister of Economic Development Mohamed Saeed told Haveeru.

An MoU establishing a Joint Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation was one of a raft of agreements signed during the historic visit of President Xi Jinpeng in September.

The Maldivian delegation sent to Beijing also includes Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Dr Mohamed Shainee, and Minister at the President’s Office Mohamed Hussein Shareef.

Shainee told media that discussions would be held with two Chinese companies regarding the search for oil, adding that the opportunity for neighbouring countries to join the search would be available.

India has already offered to assist in oil exploration within Maldivian territorial waters. The announcement that the administration of President Yameen would resume the Maldives’ decades-long search for oil was followed by a seismic survey by a German research vessel in August.

China’s Silk Road scheme is said to have caused concern in India, though Chinese state media has reported that more than 50 states have expressed willingness to join the project this year.

Shifting east

President Xi has repeatedly urged the Maldives to get involved in the trade route, which will link China to the east coast of Africa and the Mediterranean and is said to pass the Maldives’ northernmost atoll – the proposed site of the Ihavandhippolhu Integrated Development Project.

The ‘iHavan’ transshipment port – one of five mega-projects envisioned by the government – is designed to take advantage of the US$18 trillion worth of goods transported across the seven degree channel annually.

Attempts by the Yameen administration to attract foreign investors – which has included the introduction of the Special Economic Zones Act – have yet to result in any major deals, though China has signed agreements relating to the promotion of the Malé-Hulhulé bridge and the development of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).

After a team of Chinese surveyors carried out a feasibility study into the bridge project last month, ministers last night told the press that they would seek to expedite the project while in Beijing.

Additionally, attempts would be made to secure deals for the development of the runway at INIA, the delegation explained. Consultants from Singapore’s Changi International Airport have been hired to oversee the development, with the tourism minister citing their experience working with Chinese contractors.

The delegation also explained that discussions would be held with China’s Ministry of Commerce regarding a free-trade areas, as well as discussing obtaining cheaper oil.

President Yameen has made clear his intention to further pursue already rapidly expanding ties with China, announcing a policy shift to the east while criticising the interference of western powers. China also accounts for one third of all tourists visiting the Maldives.

Yameen last week laid the foundations for 704 housing units in Hulhumalé, part of an arrangement for 1500 to be built by ‎the China Machinery Engineering Corporation as part of the further development of Hulhumalé – another of the government’s mega-projects.

Related to this story

Agreements on bridge and airport penned during Chinese president’s visit

Chinese President Xi Jinping calls for Maldives involvement in 21st century maritime silk road

President Yameen slams “Western colonial powers,” declares foreign policy shift to East


10 thoughts on “Silk road deal to be concluded in China-Maldives economic committee”

  1. I would love to sit in on this first ever China Maldives trade talks in Beijing to hear the discussion. China on the one hand is a global economic power and manufactures everything while Maldives is a country nobody has heard of and manufactures bugger all.
    I really can't see why Maldivians are wetting themselves with excitement over the Silk Road project.
    I hope the water is back on in Male and you have all managed to shower and flush the loo. Any palm trees left?

  2. @MissIndia. Who will take you to those discussion. You are nobody and you and your filthy GMR will never be allowed to this country under our watch.

    GMR bye bye and go home and try to rob your own country.

  3. Most of the maldivian who are against sez and China investments had no proper information about India. Following little information is to them. 1.presently China building very big port in kandala in India.Indians are saying this will be biggest port in the world. 2.presently two ports under construction in Tamil by Dubai(dp world) one by Singapore(psa). 3.presently Singapore (psa)is building a very big port in kakinada in India. 4.India biggest port nava Seva. was build and own and running by Denmark(marks). 5.India port of pipava is own and running by Denmark(marsk). India has got hundreds of billions of dollars of investments from China. My brothers please wake up. Why India should get worrying is we get little from China.

  4. Miss India

    Morons like Hero can never understand.He had only been to Trivandrum for medicals.200$ from Villa and 150$ from theemuge


  5. We maldivian should stop worrying for India and Indian ocean peace. India has taken hundreds of billions of dollars inventments from China alone its building ports and air ports from foreign countries investments. For a example bangalore and hydarabad airports got investments from Switzerland etc. Please wake-up my brothers and sister's. We all maldivian should unite behind of president yameen at least for the sake of development of Maldives. Mr president yameen please go with China even if China ask for a naval base please go head give to China we are with you Mr president yameen

  6. We maldivian know very little about India.Indian populations almost 1.2's army's more then 3 millions. India earns from the peanuts sales texs more then our annual budget.We are fools if we talk and think of India security and peace of Indian oceans.india can take care of its own security and peace of the Indian ocean even if China build five bases in Maldives. We should join with China for the development of Maldives. Mr president go head with China we maldivian are with you only very few fool's in our country are talking about our brother India.India is great very powerful country India can take care it's own.

  7. To add to ayodh h's comments above:
    India has more dollar millionaires than there are people in the Maldives.
    The New Delhi suburb of Noida has a bigger population and economy than the Maldives.
    India' earning from the export of computer software and IT services alone in 2012-2013 was in excess of 75 billion US need brains for this and no industrial infrastructure.

  8. To add to ayodh h's comments above:
    India has more dollar millionaires than there are people in the Maldives.
    The New Delhi suburb of Noida alone has a bigger population and economy than the Maldives.
    India' earning from the export of computer software and IT services alone in 2012-2013 was in excess of 75 billion US need brains for this and no industrial infrastructure.
    India' economy will continue to grow rapidly as a knowledge based economy and does not need to flood the world with cheap manufactured goods to sustain its momentum.

  9. ayoud h on Wed, 17th Dec 2014 7:03 PM

    Seems we have another idiot posting on here that knows nothing about how countries operate in the world of business.

    Every country has foreign investment otherwise a society would be stuck in the dark ages trying to figure out how to do things for themselves.

    The problem with the Maldives is it expects charity and investment without putting any commitment into the projects. It then jumps up and down ranting like a spoilt child when it doesn't get its own way or some fool brings up the religious card to break agreements. The biggest error a country can make is dealing solely with one country, without looking at what is also available for a better long term effect for the Maldives. Too many politicians are out to line their own pockets on the short term, which leaves you with poor deals and financial problems in later years.

    Your comments in support of China are short sighted and will have your country on its knees as slaves to the biggest Communist regime in the world, that is already posing a threat to it's neighbours in Asia with it's grab for absolute power in the South China seas.

  10. @MissIndia

    Dollar is a worthless currency due of Hyper Inflation. Chinese Yuan is future for us.


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