The Government of India has reportedly committed to provide $500m to fund a bridge project in the Maldives, which also includes a new line of credit.

The Greater Malé Connectivity Project (GMCP) is expected to establish new connections between Malé, the capital city of Maldives, and three neighbouring islands.

In addition to establishing reliable connectivity between the four islands, the project is expected to improve economic activity and create new employment opportunities in the region, according to a MEA statement.

By infusing new capital into the region, India seeks to counter Chinese influence in the region.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said that the bridge infrastructure will be one of the largest infrastructures in the country and will connect Malé with the islands of Villingili, Gulhifahu and Thilafushi.

Jaishankar tweeted: “India will fund the implementation of Greater Malé Connectivity Project through a $400m LOC and $100m grant.

“This 6.7km bridge project connecting Malé with Gulhifalhu Port and Thilafushi industrial zone will help revitalise and transform Maldivian economy.

“Connectivity brings prosperity. Happy to announce the start of regular cargo ferry service between India and Maldives to boost trade and commerce. We’re also starting an air travel bubble with Maldives to sustain and promote the dynamic people-to-people ties between the two countries.”