NEW DELHI: In his first overseas visit after taking over as the President of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih Sunday termed India as its closest friend and invited the Indian business community to invest in his country.
Addressing the India-Maldives Business Forum here, Solih said his country was working on various infrastructure projects and assured Indian business leaders that there are no obstacles in investing the island nation.
“India is not only our closest friend, but it is also our largest trading partner. The economic success India has achieved after liberalising its economy is worthy of the highest praise,” Solih said.
Terming the Maldives as a fast-growing emerging economy, he added the country continues to develop its tourism industry. “We are making an investment in infrastructure development ranging from harbour construction to new look airports in the Maldives, there are no obstacles for ownership of investment,” he said.
He added the country is fully committed to providing “protection and legal cover” that overseas investors need to grow their business.”In short, the Maldives is really able and open for business,” Solih said.
Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said at the event that India and the Maldives could work together in various sectors like the fisheries, agri-products and services. He added that he would also like to send a delegation of high-level officers from his ministry to figure out various areas of cooperation between the two countries.
“We would be happy to operate more direct flights from India to the Maldives,” Prabhu said. The bilateral trade between India and Maldives currently stands at USD 222. 68 million with a surplus in favour of India.
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