[India], Dec 16 (ANI): Maldives President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih on Sunday said that his country was open for conducting business activities with India, and there are no obstacles to foreign ownership of investments in the island nation.
Solih, who is currently on his maiden three-day visit to India, addressing the India-Maldives Business Forum here, said: "In Maldives, there are no obstacles to foreign ownership of investments."
"We are fully committed to providing protection and legal cover that the overseas investors need to develop their businesses in the Maldives. We have a stable investment climate and Maldives is open for doing business activities," he added.
Underlining the need for 'close ties' between India and Maldives, Solih said: "India is our closest neighbour. Our people of the two countries are bound by ties of friendship and cultural affinity. India is not only our closest friend, but it is one of our largest trading partners. Within those close links, trade and commerce have flourished."
Lauding the rapid economic growth of India, Maldivian President stated that his nation is also a fast growing and emerging economy.
"We continue to develop our tourism industry and are making new investments in infrastructure developments, ranging from harbour construction to regional airports. We have near perfect capital mobility," he said.
Expressing gratitude to New Delhi, Solih said his nation was grateful that India hosts thousands of Maldivian students who cherish the opportunity to attend world-renowned educational institutions and learn from some of the world's best doctors, engineers, and technologists.
Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid were among those prominent leaders who were also present on the occasion.
Solih on Sunday arrived in India after assuming the office of President on November 17. Solih will be accorded a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on December 17. He will then participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Raj Ghat.
Later in the day, Maldives President is scheduled to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, before holding delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Modi at the Hyderabad House.
The exchange of agreements and press statements will be held after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Solih is also scheduled to hold separate meetings with President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on the same day. On December 18, Solih will undertake a visit to Agra and then emplane for the Maldives. (ANI)