China pledges USD 130M in grants to Maldives

Maldivian President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu (L) with Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) on January 10, 2024. (Photo/President's Office)

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu says that China has pledged USD 130 million in grant assistance to the Maldives.

President Muizzu and First Lady Sajidha Mohamed returned to Maldives on Saturday, after concluding a state visit to China.

Their plane landed at the Velana International Airport on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking to reporters at the airport, President Muizzu said China has pledged 130 million dollars in grant assistance to the Maldives.

He said that the bulk of it will be spent on redeveloping the roads of Male’.

“That is approximately USD 130 million in grants. This will be spent on developmental projects. The biggest spending will be on the development of the roads of Male’,” he said.

President Muizzu made the visit to China – his first state visit to a foreign country – at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

During the visit, the two leaders met for official talks and presided over the signing of over 20 agreements between the two countries.

This includes a USD 50 million agreement to develop an integrated tourism zone in Hulhumale’, an agreement on the construction of 30,000 social housing units in Rasmale’, and an agreement to provide grant assistance for the development of a 100-bed tertiary hospital in Vilimale’.

The two countries also signed an agreement to allow Maldives’ national airline, Maldivian, to conduct domestic flight operations in China.

The Maldivian first couple had several engagements and visited various establishments, fostering greater cultural, economic, and political relations with China.

In one of his most prominent engagements, President Muizzu attended the Invest Maldives Forum.

While speaking at the forum, he laid out his government's vision for developing the Maldives, which he said was one of engagement, partnership building, and focused delivery.

He also emphasized the importance of his visit to China, as it is his first state visit to a foreign nation, stating that China remains one of the Maldives's closest allies and developmental partners.

The first couple also took time off their schedule to meet and engage with the Maldivian community residing in Beijing.

They were accompanied on the visit by a high-level delegation of Maldivian government officials, including Cabinet ministers.