India and Maldives have jointly initiated a ferry service on Monday which will connect Tuticorin and Cochin ports to Male. This ferry service was launched with the objective of reducing the costs and required time for transportation of goods between the two countries.
This launch is the next step as a gesture for India gave a 10-year soft loan of $250 million to the Maldives government as an aid to support their budgetary deficit amid the Coronavirus induced economic crisis.
The launch happened in a virtual ceremony chaired by India’s minister of state for shipping Mansukh Mandaviya and the Maldives’ minister of transport and civil aviation Aishath Nahula. Along with them, the virtual launch also had representatives of Tuticorin and Cochin ports, foreign ministry of Maldives and several officers from the Maldives Ports Limited.
The decision to initiate a ferry was taken mutually between external affairs minister S Jaishankar and foreign minister Abdulla Shahid in August.