Minister Fayyaz Ismail highlights importance of Maldives-UK free trade agreement for economic growth

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Minister of Economic Development, Fayyaz Ismail emphasized the significance of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Maldives and the United Kingdom (UK) in fostering the economic growth of the Maldives.

Expressing his thoughts on Twitter, Minister Fayyaz highlighted that an FTA between the two nations would greatly contribute to the advancement of the fisheries sector and bring about substantial benefits for Maldivian fishermen. He underscored that this development represents a pivotal moment in facilitating the export of Maldivian fish products to the UK without tariffs. Minister Fayyaz further emphasized that the ongoing negotiations for the FTA signify a crucial step forward for the Maldivian economy, expressing his gratitude to the dedicated teams from the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their efforts in this process.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid also took to Twitter to welcome the UK’s decision to initiate the process of establishing an FTA with the Maldives. He attributed this positive outcome to the unwavering efforts of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih over the past four years, aimed at eliminating the 20% tariff imposed on fish exports to the UK. Minister Abdulla Shahid further stressed that this agreement will significantly reinforce the economic and trade relations between the two countries.

In order to initiate the process of establishing the FTA, the UK has released a public notice inviting submissions to identify the challenges and constraints faced by UK organizations in conducting business with the Maldives. This call for input aims to determine the priorities for the FTA and prepare for the negotiation process. The UK has extended an invitation to businesses, organizations, and individuals to participate in an eight-week consultation period. It is noteworthy that the UK has highlighted the Maldives as one of the few Commonwealth nations with which it has not pursued an FTA or offered preferential market access through an existing Trading Scheme framework.