High Commission to boost Australian trade in the North East Indian Ocean

By Melissa Coade

February 14, 2022

Marise Payne
Foreign minister Marise Payne. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Foreign minister Marise Payne has announced the opening of Australia’s new High Commission in the Maldives, with a view to strengthening engagement, investment and connection with the archipelagic nation.

In a statement, Payne said a permanent diplomatic presence in the Republic of Maldives was a ‘significant step’ in expanding the relationship between Australia and ‘an important Indian Ocean neighbour’.

“The new Australian High Commission will support the commitment of both countries to democratic institutions and enhance cooperation with multilateral, commonwealth and regional organisations,” Payne said.

The High Commission, based in Malé, will build on the shared aspirations for a stable, secure and resilient Indo Pacific, foreign minister said. 

This included opportunities for better maritime security cooperation and fighting transnational crime. 

“It will promote enhanced cooperation on maritime security, combating transnational crime and collaboration on climate change and the blue economy,” Payne said. 

Last week Australia also announced that $36.5 million over five years would be provided for disaster resilience and information sharing across the North East Indian Ocean. This was on top of other multi-million dollar investments to support opportunities for trade, investment and connection to nations in the region.

Previously, the Australian High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka, fulfilled the role of visa and citizen services for people in the Maldives. 

The Maldivian Consulate General in Australia, Linton Lethlean, is based in Melbourne, Victoria.


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