Speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last week, Mohamed Shainee said that relations between the Republic of Maldives and Saudi Arabia are “at their best for a very long time” — and he should know.
Shainee is the Maldives minister for fisheries and agriculture, two important parts of the economy of the string of 1,100 islands and atolls that make up Asia’s smallest country. Saudis are attracted by the Maldives’ balmy tropical climate and its beaches, considered among the finest in the world and a lure for tourists of every nationality. But the relationship has also blossomed into a stronger economic partnership, with Saudi Arabia increasingly playing the part of investor in and developer of the Maldives’ economy.
Official figures show that assistance from Saudi Arabia totalled nearly SR300 million ($80 million) up to 2010, but this has accelerated since, with SR722 million pledged since for hospitals and other development.
Source Credit: Arab News
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