News Portal

With China’s assist, Maldives plans to decrease dependence on India in tourism, commerce and healthcare: Data


Maldives tourism hit: Controversial tweets by Maldives ministers in opposition to PM Modi sparked a name by some Indians on social media to boycott the Maldives
| Photo Credit: ISHARA S. KODIKARA

In January, controversial tweets by deputy ministers of the Maldives on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s go to to Lakshadweep led to a diplomatic row between the 2 nations. The penalties of this row have been two-fold. The tweets sparked a name by some Indians on social media to boycott the Maldives. This was an try by them to puncture the most important money-maker for the Maldives, the tourism trade. Meanwhile, Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu strengthened ties with considered one of India’s rivals, China. Just just a few days after tensions between the Maldives and India flared up, Mr. Muizzu visited China, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and appealed to Chinese vacationers to go to his nation in giant numbers and reclaim the highest spot in vacationer arrivals, which they as soon as held.

Chart 1 | The chart exhibits the variety of vacationers who visited the Maldives within the first 35 days of 2023 and 2024.

Charts seem incomplete? Click to take away AMP mode

While the variety of Indian vacationers visiting the Maldives has declined marginally, Chinese vacationers have swifty crammed this hole, leading to an general improve in vacationer inflows, knowledge present. The variety of Indians who visited the archipelago dropped marginally from 21,460 to 16,895 within the interval thought of. It is vital to notice that the decline can’t be fully attributed to the boycott name as a substantial share may have dropped their plans fearing repercussions of the continuing row, amongst different causes. Moreover, the variety of Russian vacationers additionally decreased from 26,305 to 22,577 within the interval, so India shouldn’t be an outlier.

Also learn: Indian vacationers’ boycott name put up Modi go to to Lakshadweep could influence Maldives | Data

The decline in Indian guests didn’t have an effect on the general variety of vacationers to the Maldives. In truth, if the primary 35 days of 2023 and 2024 are in contrast, the variety of vacationers went up barely from 1,97,252 to 2,22,502. This improve is fully as a result of sudden surge within the variety of Chinese vacationers from simply 6,563 to 25,303 within the interval.

Chart 2 | The chart exhibits the variety of medical vacationers from the Maldives who visited India for remedies.

More worryingly, the influence of the diplomatic fallout has been felt by extra than simply the tourism trade. Generally, 20,000 to 40,000 medical vacationers from the Maldives go to India yearly for therapy (Chart 2). On January 13, Mr. Muizzu introduced that the federal government’s medical health insurance scheme will cowl visits to the UAE and Thailand too, to “diminish reliance on a select group of countries”. He made this announcement instantly after his return from China. He additionally mentioned {that a} 100-bed hospital with Chinese support will likely be constructed.

Mr. Muizzu and Mr. Xi signed key agreements, together with agricultural schemes that will “end its [Maldives’] dependence on one country for imported staple foods such as rice, sugar, and flour,” by rising them domestically. Currently, the Maldives depends closely on India for a variety of merchandise.

Chart 3 | The chart exhibits the worth of commodities imported by the Maldives from India, between 2019 and 2021, in $ (vertical axis). On the horizontal axis, India’s share (%) within the Maldives’s complete imports, throughout commodities is depicted.

The Maldives imports over 95% of its granite, 40% of its metal bars and coils, over 30% of tubes/pipes, electrical motors and cement, 65% of flat-rolled iron and chrome steel sheets, and over 50% of bulldozers from India (Chart 3). Moreover, it sources over 80% of rice, 60% of eggs, near 30% of cattle meat, 50% of onions, melons and nuts, 25% of wheat, over 45% of crabs/shrimp/prawns and cabbages, and 40% of tomatoes from India. Essentially, the tourism growth within the Maldives — from meals to remain — depends closely on the provision of uncooked supplies from India.

Chart 4 | The chart exhibits the worth of commodities exported by India to the Maldives in $ (vertical axis) and the Maldives’s share in India’s complete exports (horizontal axis).

India exports 70% of its cabbages/cauliflowers, over 20% of eggs, over 10% of its melons and dwell animals and nuts to the Maldives. The archipelago’s key agreements with China after the fallout with India threatens this mutually useful relationship, and provides China extra sway within the Indian Ocean area.

Source: UNcomtrade portal, India Tourism Statistics, Republic of Maldives’s Ministry of Tourism,

Listen to our Data podcast: Arrested overseas? How does an Indian navigate worldwide legal guidelines | Data Point podcast

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More