September 21, 2020
The vessel, MCP Linz is equipped with a capacity of 380 TEUs and 3000 MT and a cold storage facility.
The Maldivian fisheries ecosystem will gradually expand to Europe through bilateral trade in the Cochin Port.
The tourism economy and MSME ecosystems are expected to experience significant growth.
The service will reduce the cost of transport and help increase bilateral trade.
The first India-Maldives ferry service was inaugurated today by Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping, and Aishath Nahula, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation of the Maldives. The route is set to connect the Tuticorin and Cochin ports in South India to the Male and Kulhudhuhfushi ports in the nation of Maldives. The vessel, MCP Linz is one with 380 TEUs and 3000 MT carrying capacity and is equipped with a cold storage facility. This will be critical in reducing the cost of transportation between the countries in addition to providing impetus to increase bilateral trade especially in the domain of fisheries. The Maldivian fisheries ecosystem is also expected to expand to European markets through connectivity to the port of Cochin. Subsequently, the tourism economy in both nations as well as the MSME ecosystem are expected to be the allied beneficiaries of this initiative.
The Indo-Maldivian bilateral relationship is one that has facilitated successful relations in the domains of food processing, medicine, agriculture as well as minerals. The recent years have seen the concretisation of infrastructure projects including the Greater Male Connectivity Project as well as a credit deal worth US$800 mn to promote socio-economic development in Maldives. India also gifted the nation of Maldives a Fast Interceptor Craft Coast Guard vessel called Kaamiyaab which is expected to improve the fisheries ecosystem, maritime security and the tourism sector. The initiative is also aimed at helping improve the local ecosystem and livelihoods of individuals in Maldives. With people-to-people initiatives as a priority, direct flights from Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi were launched by the Government of India. This, combined with the use of the RuPay portal has played an important role in increasing Indian tourist footfalls.
The Indo-Maldivian rapport is proof of the potential that bilateral ties in the Indian Ocean region hold. Initiatives like the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) coupled with India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy can continue to cement meaningful bilateral ties in the years to come.