In a veiled jab at the expansionist approach of cash-rich nations, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underscored that when pursuing development projects, nations had been forced into lopsided partnerships, leaving them dependent on ambitious foreign powers. “It gave rise to colonial and imperial rule. It gave rise to global power blocs. Our development cooperation doesn’t come with any conditions,” Modi said while inaugurating the Supreme Court building in Mauritius with his counterpart Pravind Jugnauth.
The building is part of 2016 Special Economic Package worth US$353 mln to Mauritius, which includes four other projects. It is the first India assisted infrastructure project within the capital city of Port Louis since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mentioning India’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR), Modi said Mauritius was at the heart of India’s approach in the Indian Ocean Region and development partnerships.
Modi’s statement has come at a time when India is stepping up its relations with key neighbours amid tensions with China, which is making investments in these countries as part of its Belt and Road Initiative. During the pandemic, China has been actively supplying medical aid and relief to the countries in the Indian Ocean Region.
Other countries where India has expedited its activity include Bangladesh, where India delivered over 10 railway locomotives on Monday. India announced a $400-million currency swap facility under the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) framework with Sri Lanka.
Another $400 million was provided through an extended currency swap arrangement to the Maldives. India will be soon “announcing another substantial financial assistance package” to help post-COVID-19 economic recovery.