Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi meeting Maldives President
 Source : PIB

India and Maldives have a longstanding relationship with a rich history dating back to ancient times. The Maldives, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean, has long been a part of India's sphere of influence and the two countries have shared cultural, economic, and political ties for centuries.

In the ancient world, The Maldives played an important role in the ancient trade route between the Middle East and East Asia, and it continues to be a source of valuable spices and other goods for India. Additionally, the Maldives has a long history of being a center of Buddhist learning, attracting many Indian scholars and monks over the years.

India-Maldives : Deeply Rooted Partnership:

After gaining independence from British in 1965, India was one of the first countries to recognize the Maldives as a sovereign nation. Since then, the two countries have developed close diplomatic and economic ties, with India providing assistance in areas such as infrastructure development, healthcare, and education.

The Maldives has also become a popular tourist destination for Indians in recent years, and the two countries have signed agreements to promote cultural and educational exchanges. India has also provided military and security assistance to help the Maldives maintain stability and defend against external threats.

In summary, the relationship between India and the Maldives is one of cooperation and friendship, and both countries have worked to strengthen their ties over the years. Understanding the history of India-Maldives bilateral relations is important for students preparing for the UPSC exam, as it is a significant aspect of India's foreign policy and international relations.

Bilateral Agreements:

The two countries have signed a number of important agreements to strengthen their ties. Some of the key agreements signed between India and the Maldives include:

  1. Free Trade Agreement: In 2011, India and the Maldives signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to promote trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. The FTA liberalized trade in goods and services, and provided a framework for cooperation in areas such as investment, technology transfer, and capacity building.
  2. Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement: In 2015, India and the Maldives signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) to prevent double taxation of income and encourage investment between the two countries. The DTAA sets out the rules and procedures for the taxation of income earned by individuals and businesses in India and the Maldives.
  3. Extradition Treaty: In 2018, India and the Maldives signed an Extradition Treaty to facilitate the extradition of fugitives and criminals between the two countries. The treaty provides a legal framework for the extradition of individuals wanted for offenses such as terrorism, drug trafficking, and financial crimes.

Regional and Multilateral Groups:

India and the Maldives are both part of a number of regional groups and organizations. Some of the key regional groups that the two countries are part of include:

SAARC: India and the Maldives are both founding members of SAARC, a regional organization comprising eight South Asian countries.

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA): The Maldives is a member of IORA, a regional organization comprising 21 countries from the Indian Ocean region. IORA promotes cooperation and collaboration in areas such as trade, investment, and environmental protection. India is also an important partner of IORA.

Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC): India and the Maldives are both members of BIMSTEC (Alternative playground to SAARC), a regional organization comprising seven countries from the Bay of Bengal region. BIMSTEC promotes cooperation and collaboration in areas such as trade, economic development, and regional security.

World Trade Organization (WTO): Both India and the Maldives are members of the WTO, a global organization that promotes free and fair trade between countries. Maldives has always backed India which is considered as one of leader of Global South  in world forums.