New Horizons in Maldives-China Relations: Economic and Trade Cooperation Set to Expand

In a landmark State Visit to China, President Dr Mohamed Muizzu ushered in a new chapter in economic collaboration between the two nations. The visit, spanning from January 8 to 12, 2024, signified a deepening of ties and commitment to mutual prosperity.

Key discussions focused on bolstering the Maldives’ economic landscape, with China reiterating its support for the island nation’s sovereignty and development goals. In turn, the Maldives reaffirmed its adherence to the one-China principle, a cornerstone of its foreign policy.

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Central to the economic dialogue was the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), with both nations agreeing to pursue high-quality cooperation. This endeavour is set to synergize their development strategies, enhancing cooperation in green development, the digital economy, and the burgeoning blue economy. These sectors represent significant growth opportunities for the Maldives, promising to diversify its economy beyond tourism.

Moreover, the Action Plan for a China-Maldives Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership (2024-2028) was signed, marking a strategic roadmap for bilateral economic and technical cooperation. This plan encompasses areas crucial for the Maldives’ development, such as infrastructure construction, medical services, new energy, and marine environment protection.

The Maldives’ appreciation of China’s unwavering support was apparent, particularly for its contributions to the island nation’s socio-economic development. China, in response, pledged continued assistance, aligning with Maldivian priorities.

Furthermore, the establishment of the China-Maldives Joint Committee on Economic and Trade Cooperation aims to enhance trade facilitation and foster a high-quality development of economic ties. This mechanism is expected to guide and boost bilateral investment, providing a structured approach to economic exchange.

The visit has been hailed as a significant step in elevating the China-Maldives comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, with mutual benefits and common development at its core. It underscores the shared vision of both nations for a prosperous and sustainable future driven by enhanced economic and trade cooperation.

President Muizzu’s visit not only cements the traditional friendship between China and the Maldives but also opens new avenues for economic growth and development, setting a positive tone for future bilateral interactions.

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