ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Belt and Road

China debt trap fear haunts Maldives government

Beijing reminds Male of sovereign guarantee on a private resort deal

The Maldives has borrowed heavily from China for infrastructure projects, including a bridge connecting the capital Male to the country's international airport on another island.  (Photo by Yuji Kuronuma)

COLOMBO -- When Ahmed Siyam, a Maldivian business magnate, rushed to service a $127.5 million loan he had received from the state-owned Export-Import Bank of China, he eased fears in the Indian Ocean archipelago about the Maldives falling into a Chinese debt-trap. But the August repayment reminded many of the risk of carrying billions of dollars in Chinese credit shrouded in secrecy.

China's EXIM Bank had put the Maldivian government on edge in July by issuing a notice to Sun Siyam, as the businessman is better known, to repay $10 million of the loan by early August. Siyam's company, Ahmed Siyam Holdings (ASH), had reportedly failed to come up with the amount at that time. 

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more