Maldives-China Free Trade Agreement: Saeed Confirms 2024 Rollout

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Maldives and China is set to take effect this year, as announced by Maldives’ Economic Development and Trade Minister, Mohamed Saeed, during a recent press conference. Although the FTA was signed in 2017 and approved by parliament, its implementation was delayed until the recent change of government.

Minister Saeed stated that under the agreement, Maldives will be able to export 296 types of seafood to China without facing any tariffs. He also mentioned that the FTA will be submitted to parliament for final approval and expressed confidence that it will be implemented within the year.

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“We will present it to parliament as soon as it starts to implement the FTA so that it will be implemented this year,” he stated.

Furthermore, the minister highlighted the benefits the agreement will bring to Maldivian businesses, emphasizing that certain types of seafood can be imported from China, processed in Maldives, and then exported back to China with a ‘Made in Maldives’ label, allowing for zero tariffs.

“If 25% is added in Maldives, it will receive a ‘Made in Maldives’ label. For instance, China can import products like shrimp from Maldives, pack them here, and then export them back to China at zero tariffs,” he explained, adding that Maldives will have numerous opportunities to export products such as fish to China.

Minister Saeed also mentioned ongoing discussions to establish free trade agreements with other countries, with a deal with Turkey expected to be implemented this year, and potential interest from India in establishing a free trade agreement with Maldives.

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