Tuesday 28th Mar 2023
Dhivehi Edition
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Fishermen paying the price of halting the China free trade agreement: MCTCO

Maldives China Cultural Organization (MCTCO) has stated that Maldivian fishermen are paying the price of halting the free trade agreement between Maldives and China.
The organization which aims to enhance business and cultural ties between Maldives and China tweeted that if the Maldivian government adhered to the free trade agreement between China, Maldivian fish products would have access to a market of one billion people with duty-free amenities.
MCTCO also noted that since Maldives graduated from the least developed countries (LDC) on 1st January 2011, the country has lost duty-free privileges granted to LDC’s starting from 1st January 2014. Hence, Maldivian fish products exported to Europe were charged 14 - 24 percent duty, and 5 – 17.5 percent duty was also charged from fish products exported to China.
The information shared by MCTCO also indicated that the free trade agreement negotiations between Maldives and China during President Yameen’s administration concluded with China agreeing to stop levying duty on 296 Maldivian fish products out of 298 products exported to China.
The organization noted that if the free trade agreement between both countries was honored, the country would not be in a dire situation since there would be the possibility to export Maldivian fish products to the Chinese market. The organization further stated the free trade agreement was halted for political reasons and that fishermen are suffering due to this.