Last Monday, Maldives and Singapore signed two agreements that will expand air connectivity and strengthen bilateral cooperation. In the Open Skies Agreement, airlines of both Singapore and Maldives can operate as many passenger flights or cargo services as they want between and beyond the two nations. A separate Memorandum of Understanding will step up bilateral exchanges and cooperation.

According to President Halimah Yacob of Singapore, the Open Skies Agreement will bring people and businesses together. Air connectivity is very important to the two nations’ economy inasmuch as it supports tourism and connects people and services.

Singapore Airlines was one of the first airlines that started direct flights to and from Maldives in 1984. Madam Halimah supports the activate presence of Singaporean companies like Banyan Tree and Hotel Properties in Maldives and the thousands of Maldivians who visit Singapore every year.

Singapore and Maldives have worked well together in the international arena and share common interests being small island nations. Strong bilateral ties between the two countries will allow greater movement of people and goods that will benefit both economies. Both are also located at the centre of the world’s busiest maritime trade routes making them susceptible to global strategic, economic and environmental forces.

Madam Halimah also stressed that Singapore is happy to continue in sharing developmental experiences. The Singapore government will offer Maldives a 2-year technical cooperation package that involves governance and sustainable development. Madam Halimah is confident that significant improvements can be brought to the lives of Maldivians across the islands and atolls.

Meanwhile, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of Maldives is optimistic that the bilateral ties in trade, commerce and security cooperation will help both nations in their many common challenges like preventing terrorism, fighting climate change and improving the cause of small islands. Maldives government has been working hard to improve relations with other friendly nations.

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