Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has announced that ferry service between Maldives and India will commence in two months.
Minister Shahid is currently attending the UN General Assembly alongside President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
In an interview given by Minister Shahid to an Indian media during the trip, Minister Shahid said he was informed by the Indian Ambassador to Maldives that the ferry service from Maldives to Cochin, India will be commenced in two months.
While the relations between the both countries have strengthened after President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih took Office, it has become an aim of both governments to widen travel and transportation between the two countries.
Minister Shahid highlighted that the number of tourists visiting Maldives from India has increased significantly ever since new flight routes connected five Indian cities to the Maldives.
"Currently we have 5 Indian cities connected to Male. I hope there will be more air connectivity. Indian tourist arrivals have jumped, they have come to be number 3 in arrivals. There has been a 100 per cent increase in Indian tourist arrivals. During PM Modi's visit, we signed an MoU by sea connectivity. The Ambassador has informed that within the next 2 months, the Cochin Kulhudhuffushi Male ferry will begin", said Shahid.
The ferry service to Cochin is the first of its kind in the Maldives. India is the first country Maldives will have scheduled ferry services to. it has been reported that the services will be initially used for the transportation of cargo.
While giving an interview to the state media PSM the Indian Ambassador to Maldives Sanjay Sudhir stated that a lot of efforts have been undertaken to ensure that the ferry service is successful. Sanjay Sudhir revealed that a team from Shipping Cooperation of India had come to Maldives to do a detailed assessment, on which a final report has been made.
When ferry services are established between Maldives and India, it will facilitate easier transportation of cargo between the two countries. Sanjay Sudhir also said that it will be more affordable than importing cargo through Dubai and Sri Lanka.