President-elect: China’s Belt Road Initiative can play a crucial role in Maldives’ development

Sinamale' bridge.

President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, on Tuesday, has remarked that China’s Belt Road Initiative (BRI) can play a crucial role in Maldives’ development.

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), introduced in 2013, is aimed at increasing China’s participation in the infrastructure development of other nations which will be achieved through the issuance of loans for developmental projects, assistance from financial institutions and the provision of technical expertise among others.

Maldives joined BRI during former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom’s administration.

Muizzu, in an interview to China’s Xinhua news agency, said BRI can play a crucial role in Maldives’ development.

He noted that many development projects have been carried out in the Maldives with assistance from China in the Maldives, particularly noting the China-Maldives friendship bridge as the most prominent project out of them.

The bridge that linked Male’, Hulhule’ and Hulhumale’ is the biggest infrastructural project carried out during Yameen’s administration, which was overseen by the Housing Ministry, headed by Muizzu back then.

He described the project as one that has brought easements to many people; not just residents living in the Greater Male’ area, but also thousands visiting, both local and foreign.

Muizzu also noted the importance of housing projects carried out in Hulhumale’ with assistance from China, which has provided housing to thousands.

“I think the Maldives needs that kind of assistance and development partnership with China and other countries that will be mutually beneficial to the countries that are involved in it and for the whole region as well as the world,” he added.

He expressed hope for continued close relations with China even in the future.

“I have very high expectations on this initiative (BRI). I think the Belt and Road initiative can play a crucial role in our development and also the development of all the countries in this initiative. And definitely, I see this initiative play a very crucial role in taking us forward,” he stressed.

Over 3,000 projects have been carried out across the world under BRI. China states over a trillion US dollars have been incurred for these projects. Meanwhile, over 400,000 jobs have been created in countries taking part in BRI, under the initiative.