The Indian government has granted clearance for the Cochin ferry to transport cargo between Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Abdulla Saeed, Managing Director of Maldives State Shipping (MSS), told a local news outlet on Thursday that the Cochin ferry left Maldives on its maiden voyage on the Lanka route on Wednesday night, and that it will make stops in Sri Lanka around the 6th or 7th of this month, before arriving in India on the 8th.
Saeed stated that the Cochin ferry will now stop in Colombo on its way to India. This shift, according to Saeed, will have an indirect advantage on Maldivian businesses.
In June, MSS asked authorization from the Indian government, via the Indian High Commission, to allow the Cochin ferry to import cargo from Sri Lanka. He expressed gratitude to Indian High Commissioner Sunjay Sudhir for his assistance in obtaining the authorization.
The agreement between the two countries, which was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Maldives, states that a 3,000 metric ton capacity vessel would allow for inexpensive travel between the two countries as well as cargo transfer, allowing Maldivian businesses to enter the Indian market.