Waiting for the Tsunami
The Maldives serves as a fulcrum for the emerging power equation in the Indian Ocean.
Apparently, the Maldives has more than just a beautiful face. This tourist getaway is fast becoming known for its importance as a foothold in the region for those who want to make their presence felt.
The Maldives’ economy is mainly supported by tourism, but it needs to be developed by other revenue generating ventures and it is extremely important that it looks for other such avenues.
It seems that it won’t be long before the fate of the country changes. Because of its geographical location,
By Lubna Jerar Naqvi the Maldives is fast becoming an important regional ‘ pivot’ for trade interests in Asia for countries like the US and other western nations, as well as a gateway into the west for China.
The new government - elected in 2013 - headed by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom is seen changing its direction and looking at local allies. Unlike Mohamed Nasheed earlier, President Yameen discarded pacts with the US and inked new ones with China. The Chinese President came to the Maldives and signed nine agreements, with both governments agreeing on the Maritime Silk Road ( MSR). This is an initiative to increase investments by China and was the brainchild of Chinese President Xi Jinping in October 2013. The MSR will allow a smooth movement of trade from China all the way to Europe and beyond. In the process it will also benefit other countries lying on the route.
The Yameen government’s decision to shift focus towards China ruffled a lot of feathers, especially those of the opposition. The MSR has only made matters worse and is being seen as an