The Government of India has extended Line of Credit of worth 18 million USD to Maldives to expand fishing facilities at Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO).
The funds granted to Maldives are to be used for the following
- To develop 50-tonne ice plant in Gemanafushi. Also, a 100-tonne ice storage facility is to be developed
- The funds will be used to set up tuna cooked plant and fishmeal plant
- Investments towards fish collection
The above projects will help Maldives to increase fish collection and storage capacity. It will help the country acquire new markets in the fisheries sector.
Maldives is important to India for its strategic location. In Indian Ocean, Maldives archipelago comprises of 1,200 coral islands. They lie next to the shipping lanes that ensure uninterrupted energy supplies to India, China and Japan.
Maldives is important to India for the following reasons
- International Geopolitics: The significance of Maldives has grown since China began to send its ships to Indian Ocean 10 years ago. China sends its ships right up to Gulf of Aden in the name of antipiracy operations.
- Regional Security: India needs to cooperate with Maldives as the former is a pre-eminent South Asian power and a net security provider in the Indian Ocean Region.
- Maldives supports India at the United Nations Security Council.
- There are more than 25,000 Indian nationals living in Maldives. Indian tourists account to 6% of Maldives tourism.
India has offered assistance to Maldives whenever required. India was the first to provide with relief when Maldives was badly hit by Tsunami. Also, GoI has launched several operations as in need to help save Maldives.
India launched Operation Cactus in 1984 and saved Maldives from a coup.
This operation was launched by the Indian Government to help save Maldives from major fire that broke out in a Male Water and Sewerage company.