India wants free trade agreement, Maldives claims after diplomatic dispute - Newztezz Online

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Sunday, May 26, 2024

India wants free trade agreement, Maldives claims after diplomatic dispute


India's alleged attempt to seek an FTA with the Maldives comes amid a diplomatic row between the two countries since November last year. President Muizzu, known for his pro-China stance, was sworn in last November.

Maldives said on Saturday that India has initiated efforts for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries and discussions are on to achieve this goal. Economic Development and Trade Minister Mohammed Saeed said, they (India) want a separate free trade agreement with Maldives apart from SAFTA (South Asian Free Trade Agreement).

Saeed said that the President of Maldives has given this opportunity to all the countries and the government aims to enter into agreements with as many countries as possible to facilitate trade activities.

India's alleged attempt to seek an FTA with the Maldives comes against the backdrop of a diplomatic row between the two countries since November last year. President Muizzu, known for his pro-China stance, was sworn in last November.

The 1981 trade agreement between India and Maldives provides for the export of essential commodities. Growing from modest beginnings, India-Maldives bilateral trade crossed the $300 million mark for the first time in 2021, reaching $500 million in 2022, according to Indian High Commission records.

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