China to provide MVR 968.2 million in grant aid to Maldives

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) captured next to Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid (R) during the former's official visit to Maldives on January 8, 2021. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

A total of five key agreements have been signed between China and Maldives on Saturday – including an agreement pertaining to the provision of MVR 968.3 million in grant aid.

The agreements were signed after official bilateral talks held between the two countries today, as part of China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s official trip to the Maldives.

Official talks between the two countries were attended by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid.

China will be providing MVR 968.2 million in grant assistance to Maldives under the ‘Agreement of Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Maldives and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Grand Aid’.

Foreign Ministry said that the grant aid is provided for the development of key areas such as social, livelihood, and infrastructure projects.

The four other agreements signed with China today are as follows;

  • Agreement on Mutual Visa Exemption between the Government of the Republic of Maldives and the Government of the People’s Republic of China – this agreement will allow Maldivians to travel to China on a 30-day visa free basis, once the pandemic restrictions are lifted.
  • Letter of Exchange on the Feasibility Study of Management and Maintenance of China-Maldives Friendship Bridge – the agreement was signed as following the expiration of the two-year maintenance period of Sinamale’ bridge mandated upon China by the initial bridge agreement.
  • Supplementary Contract to the Implementation Contract for China Aided Micro-Grid Sea-water Desalination Project in the Maldives – the agreement will see the establishment of additional outlets for seawater desalination in the islands; K. Kaashidhoo, Lh. Olhuvelifushi, HA. Kelaa, R. Alifushi and GA. Dhaandhoo. This project is valued at MVR 199 million. 
  • Agreement on Establishing a Hospital Assistance and Cooperation Programme between the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Maldives and the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China – the agreement will extend the services of a specialist Ophthalmic Center in the Maldives for a further two years. The original MoU establishing this Center was signed back in July 2019.

Following the conclusion of official bilateral talks between the two countries – a video depicting the close ties between China and Maldives was shown. In addition to this, the logo to be used on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries was also unveiled.