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China among four countries interested in Maldives youth city project

Source:   Time:

COLOMBO, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Investors from four countries including China have expressed interest in a youth city project in the Maldives, an official said on Monday.

Companies from Austria, China, Malaysia, and Thailand have made enquiries regarding the development, pitched to the international business community during a Singapore investment forum in April, Youth Minister Mohamed Maleeh Jamal told reporters.

A flagship program in Maldives President Abdulla Yameen's development policy, the youth city is projected to have a population of 50,000.

The project is reported to involve youth-specific housing, international class sports facilities, a theme park, yacht marina, and a tourism district.

"We have received very good proposals. A lot of foreign investors are interested in this project. We can go forward with the Youth City project as soon as land reclamation is complete," Jamal told local media outlet Haveeru.

The deal to reclaim land to the north of the artificial island was finalized with Belgian company Dredging International last week.

The land reclamation is expected to have more than doubled the size of cramped Maldives capital Male by February 2015.

Last month, the government revealed that three Chinese companies had expressed interest in the ambitious bridge project designed to link Hulhumale to the crowded capital island of Male.

Dongfang Electric Corporation, China Machinery and Engineering Corporation (CMEC), and Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) were previously announced as the three Chinese companies that have expressed interest in the infrastructure projects.

China and Maldives are attempting to deepen economic cooperation with more companies expressing interest in investing in the Indian Ocean group of islands.

Currently, China is the largest source of tourists to the Maldives, accounting for nearly one third of one million arrivals.

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