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Negotiations on Maldives-UK free trade agreement to commence

Raajje | 8 June 2023

Negotiations on Maldives-UK free trade agreement to commence

by Zunana Zalif

The government of Maldives has welcomed the announcement by the government of the United Kingdom, to commence negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries.

In a publication on Thursday, the President’s Office revealed that the UK government has announced the decision to kick start an eight-week call for input in preparation to negotiate a free trade agreement with the Maldivian government.

With this, businesses, organizations and individuals have been invited to assist shape the UK’s negotiating aims with the Maldives, on June 8.

Maldives is one of the few countries within the Commonwealth that the UK has not pursued an FTA with or proposed privileged market access through an existing Trading Scheme framework.

One of the top priorities of the incumbent administration of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has been to strengthen the competitiveness of the economy of Maldives and to create favorable market opportunities for local businesses.

The Maldivian government has actively pursued negotiations with the UK over the past four years, with an aim to eliminate the existing 20 percent tariff imposed on Maldivian fish exports to the UK.

The significant step announced on Thursday marks the beginning of the process to establish an FTA between the two countries, through which the Maldivian government will seek to gain privileged treatment to the goods traded to the UK and unrestricted access to its market through the elimination of tariffs.

Expected to open new avenues of economic growth and prosperity, the trade deal is also expected to enhance the bilateral trade between Maldives and UK.

The Maldivian government remains confident that the trade agreement will boost economic cooperation between the two countries.

 source: Raajje