New Delhi: President of the Republic of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, its Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and Honorary Consul (Mumbai) of the Republic of Maldives Bobby Mohanty have expressed their sincere gratitude and appreciation and have praised the Hon. Prime Minister of India Sh. Narendra Modi for providing COVID-19 vaccine to their country.
Bobby Mohanty called it a noble and memorable Republic Day gift!
India has supplied 100,000 doses of CoviShield (Oxford-Astra Zeneca vaccine) manufactured by SII (Serum Institute) to the Maldives.
The Maldives is the among the first countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines from India.
In his address to the nation on 20th January 2021, Hon. President of the Republic of the Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih announced the arrival of the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines in the Maldives from India.
In his address and tweet, President Solih thanked the Indian people, its Government and (Hon.) Prime Minister (Shri) Narendra Modi for the generosity. “A short while ago, a flight from India with 100,000 doses of the CoviShield vaccine arrived in the Maldives, renewing our hopes for a resolution to the COVID-19 crisis soon. Our heartfelt thanks to PM @narendramodi, Indian government and people of India for this most generous gift,” he tweeted.
Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid tweeted, “The Maldives extends deep and profound appreciation to PM @narendramodi & EAM @DrSJaishankar for their commitment to address the needs of India’s neighbours, and for its special regard for the Maldives, at all times. Maldives is happy to receive as grant, 100,000 doses of CoviShield developed by Serum Institute of India – among the first countries to receive vaccines from India. As always, India stands strong & steadfast, by our side, as 1st responder in any crisis. When we needed to stock up on essential food items and medicine – India was there. It is unquestionable, that India is our number one first-responder, in times of critical need, especially during this global pandemic.”
Bobby Mohanty, Honorary Consul (Mumbai), Republic of Maldives said, “It is heartening to see India walking the extra mile to extend its friendship with Maldives. The decision of India to choose Maldives as the first country for the generous supply Covid-19 vaccine is not only noble but the most memorable Republic Day gesture.”
Maldives has been the biggest beneficiary of GoI’s COVID relief among its neighbours.
Prior to this, in December 2020, India even contributed BCG vaccines to the Maldives where Hon. Consul Bobby Mohanty’s office played a vital role in managing the logistics along with various agencies.
As part of its Neighbourhood First policy, India ‘urgently dispatched’ the vaccine, administered to babies to prevent tuberculosis, to bridge a shortfall in the National Immunization Programme of the Maldives.
India had dispatched 30,000 doses of the Measles Rubella vaccine in January 2020.
Besides Maldives is planning to attract investment in areas such as core infrastructure, travel & tourism, maritime/ marine, medical tourism, education, healthcare, defence, technology and emerging businesses.
Bobby Mohanty also proposes a Tourism Bank with Indian investors and the Maldives Government in Male for rendering financial services in the entire Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
Mohanty believes that Maldives can also assist in the Sea Plane Project implementation for the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Odisha through the Trans Maldivian Airlines for Costal Tourism in India.
The recent appointment of Mr Mohanty is significant as India-Maldives relationship has been on the upswing since the visit of India’s Hon. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
India aspires to work closely for the realization of Maldives’ developmental priorities, especially in areas of infrastructure, health-hygiene, connectivity, disaster management and human resources.
Mohanty will strive to enhance trade, investment and diplomatic ties between the two countries in several key areas.
Mohanty’s recent introduction visit to Maldives where in he met several Cabinet Ministers speaks of further strengthening of Indo-Maldives bilateral relations between the IOR countries.
Mohanty met Abdulla Shahid (Minister of Foreign Affairs), Dr. Abdulla Mausoom (Union Minister of Tourism), Uz. Fayyaz Ismail (Minister of Economic Development), Khadeeja Adam (Minister of State for Higher Education), Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan (Minister of Environment) and Zaha Waheed (Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Agriculture) amongst others.
This visit to the different Maldivian Cabinet Ministers and decision makers have opened up many new INDO-Maldivian ventures and cooperation in the field of tourism, fisheries, renewable energy & storage, education & cultural exchange, Bollywood visits with destination wedding and coastal tourism opportunities in the Maldives – Maharashtra, Odisha, Gujarat and others.
Mohanty is extremely confident of this developing permanent and everlasting relationship between India and the Maldives with all credence to Honble PM Narendra Modi, Hon’ble President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Hon’ble Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid.
India is Maldives’ 4th largest trade partner after UAE, China and Singapore. Indian imports from the Maldives primarily comprise scrap metals while Indian exports to the Maldives include a variety of engineering and industrial products like drugs and medicines radar apparatus, rock boulders, aggregates, cement and agriculture produce like rice, spices, fruits, vegetables and poultry produce etc.
Indians are the second largest expatriate community in Maldives.
To boost trade and investment, an 18 member CII CEO delegation visited Malè in August 2020 to meet their Maldivian counterparts and concerned Ministers in order to explore business avenues.