Following up on India’s announcement of a $500 million package to the Maldives, the Exim Bank of India and the Maldives’s Ministry of Finance on Monday signed an agreement for $400 million in Male. The line of credit (LoC) will fund the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP), a key pledge of President Ibrahim Solih, a statement from the Indian Embassy in Male said. India has also pledged a grant of $ 100 million for the initiative.The initial announcement was made at a virtual meeting between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid in August. “The Greater Male Connectivity Project will lead to greater possibilities. It is the gateway to a more developed and economically-resilient nation,” tweeted Mr. Shahid on Monday.“Thank you India for partnering with the Maldives in delivering this project with $100 million of grant and $400 million Line of Credit,” Mr. Shahid tweeted on Monday. The grant and LoC come in addition to the previous LoC of $800 million, among India’s largest loans extended in the region. Maldivians have often highlighted the disparity between capital Male and the atolls that can be reached only via boat service. The GMCP, a 6.7 km bridge and causeway network connecting Male, with islands Villingili, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi, is the second significant connectivity project in the Indian Ocean archipelago, coming two years after the China backed $200 million Sinamale Bridge, or the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge connecting airport island of Hulhule with the capital, was inaugurated.
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