Male: Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday officially reopened the Olympus building funded by the Government of India, read The President's Office of Maldives press release.

The project was funded by the government and a "High Impact Community Development Project" grant from the government of India.

The building was renovated and modernised as part of the administration's policy on providing avenues to promote the creative skills and talent of the youth, added the release.

Improvements made to the theatre building include the installation of a retractable motorised screen, a modern digital projector, new surround sound and lighting systems, a control room, and the addition of practice rooms and changing rooms.

The upgrades to the theatre also include a more spacious cafe, a backyard stage for small events and concerts, and ramps for wheelchair accessibility, said the release.

Olympus opened 64 years ago, in 1959, and paved the way for developing the music, motion picture, and performing arts industries.

First Lady Fazna Ahmed, High Commissioner of India to the Maldives, Ministers and entertainment industry stakeholders attended the ceremony.

Recently, India and Maldives have signed pacts on development projects in Maldives.

It includes grant assistance of 100 million Rufiyaa (currency of Maldives) for the High Impact Community Development Project (HICDP) scheme.

A number of socio-economic development projects are planned to be implemented throughout the country under this funding.

It also included the development of a sports complex in Gahdhoo, and academic collaboration between Maldives National University and Cochin University of Science and Technology.

India had earlier signed an USD 80-million contract for the Addu reclamation and shore protection project.

A drug detoxification and rehabilitation centre in Addu was built with Indian assistance.

The centre is one of 20 high-impact community development projects being implemented by India in areas such as healthcare, education, fisheries, tourism, sports and culture.

Tourism is the mainstay of the Maldivian economy. The country is now a major tourist destination for some Indians and a job destination for others.

In August 2021, Afcons, an Indian company, signed a contract for the largest-ever infrastructure project in Maldives which is the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP).

India is Maldive's second-largest trading partner - rising up from its 4th position in 2018. In 2021, bilateral trade registered a growth of 31 per cent over the previous year - overcoming the pandemic-related challenges.

A Bilateral USD Currency Swap Agreement between RBI and Maldives Monetary Authority was signed on 22 July 2019.

Moreover, the Hanimaadhoo International Airport Development project under an Indian credit line will add a brand-new terminal to cater to 1.3 million passengers a year.

In 2022, the National College for Policing and Law Enforcement (NCPLE) was inaugurated by India's External Affairs Minister. NCPLE is the largest grant project executed by India in the Maldives.

Both the Maldives and Sri Lanka are India's key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region and occupy a special place in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'SAGAR' (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and 'Neighbourhood First'.