Defence, tourism among six India-Maldives agreements signed

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) India and the Maldives on Monday signed six agreements in the fields of defence, tourism, taxation, space research, and conservation of mosques following delegation-level bilateral talks led by Prime Minister narendra Modi and visiting Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom here.

One agreement seeks to avoid double taxation of income derived from international air transport.

Another agreement envisages mutual assistance for exchange of information that is relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic laws concerning taxes covered by the agreement.

“It also includes exchange of information relevant to the determination, assessment and collection of such taxes, the recovery and enforcement of tax claims, or the investigation and prosecution of tax matters,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

The two sides also signed an agreement on an action plan for defence cooperation.

“The action plan is in the context of defence cooperation being an important component of the India-Maldives bilateral relationship and the shared strategic and security interests of the two countries in the Indian Ocean region,” the statement said.

“The action plan envisages an institutional mechanism at the level of the defence secretaries to further bilateral defence cooperation.”

Another agreement related to orbit frequency coordination of the proposed South Asia Satellite at 48 degrees east.

“The agreement shall be used for the purpose of performing intersystem orbit-frequency coordination for the operation of South Asia Satellite; and fulfilling ITU level regulatory requirements and obtaining international level protection/recognition for the South Asia Satellite,” the ministry statement said.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) envisages cooperation in the area of tourism.

This includes expansion of bilateral cooperation, exchange of information and data related to tourism, encouraging cooperation between tourism stakeholders including hotels and tour operators, establishing exchange programmes for cooperation in human resource development, investment in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

It also provides for exchanging visits of tour operators, media and opinion makers for promotion of two-way tourism, exchange of experience in the areas of promotion, marketing, destination development and management, participation in travel fairs and exhibitions in each other’s country and and promotion of safe, honourable and sustainable tourism.

The sixth agreement is on cooperation in the conservation and restoration of ancient mosques and joint research and exploratory surveys in the Maldives.

“The MoU proposes to undertake conservation and restoration of ancient mosques and other historical monuments in Maldives. Detailed proposals for such projects will be developed by Archaeological Survey of India and Department of Heritage, Maldive”,” the statement said.

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