Addu City, Maldives – Hithadhoo North Constituency parliamentarian, Mohamed Aslam has said that establishing and Indian consulate in Addu City would held businesses to flourish in Addu.
In a tweet he posted earlier this morning, MP Aslam told that this would help to strengthen business ties between the two countries and also ease getting Indian visa for Addu people.
This comes while the Indian Embassy in Maldives stated that if the approval the Maldivian and Indian governments are received to establish an Indian Consulate office in Addu City, citizens of the south can obtain visas directly from the consulate.
The embassy stated that they several complaints from Maldivians in the south who have to travel to Malé for a visa. If approval of the Maldivian government is given, people in southern Maldives can apply for visas and consular services directly at Addu city via the consulate, stated the Indian Embassy. They noted that this will also help the hundreds of indian teachers and nurses working in southern Maldives.
The Indian Cabinet approved for a consulate to be established in Addu City yesterday, in a union cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Modi. The embassy said that they are considering opening a consulate only and that this will also require the approval from Maldivian government.
The embassy further stated in the press release that India is currently executing USD 200 million worth projects in Addu city alone. These include Addu roads and reclamation and Gan Airport redevelopment project in addition to 8 High Impact grant projects including fish plants, eco tourism zones and rehab facility ongoing in Addu. The objective of this government is to make Addu and economic and commercial hub. Once the projects are executed it will lay a foundation for better connectivity with India and the region for Addu according to the embassy.
They further stated that the consulate will assist in improving economic and commercial ties between southern Maldives and India. They noted that a ferry service has started between Tuticorin and Addu and that a Consulate in Addu city will further improve ties between the two nations and especially improve development activities between India and Maldives.
The cabinet had highlighted that Maldives occupies an important place in the ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’ and the ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision of the Government of India and that Maldives and India have many similarities in terms of tradition, religion as well as the financial market.
In addition to this, they noted that the bilateral relationship between India and Maldives has greatly improved since President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih came to power and that the development of an Indian Consulate will increase the diplomatic presence of India in Maldives.
The cabinet also stated that, increasing the diplomatic presence of India will bring more opportunities for Indian companies as well allowing them to export their goods more efficiently.
This project is also directly linked with India’s vision to become self sufficient. Following the decision, Maldives Foreign Minister Shahid said that he will accept diplomatic missions in adherence to the Maldives constitution and the Vienna convention. Minister Shahid added that this is India’s decision and that he will not comment on it.