The catch of Maldivian fishermen can be given “a fair price” if tariffs and duties were waived on fish exported to Chinese markets, MP Ahmed Shiyam (Naifaru) has claimed in a tweet he made earlier today.
MP Shiyam claimed that the current government had failed to abide by the terms of the Free Trade Agreement signed between the administration of former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom and the Chinese government.
In his tweet written in the Maldivian language, MP Shiyam claimed that the “greatest joy” to Maldivian fishermen would be the honouring of the Free Trade Agreement. He also claimed that opening the Maldivian fishing industry to a market of 1.4 billion people would allow fishermen to be “paid fairly”.
MP Mohamed Saeed (Maavah), who had served as the Minister of Economic Development under President Yameen, also echoed that tariffs could be waived on fish and fish products exported to China as per the terms of the Free Trade Agreement. The Speaker of the Majlis, Mohamed Nasheed, denied this claim.
While trade between China and the Maldives has declined and almost stalled in recent years, another Indian Ocean island-nation, Mauritius, has entered into a similar Free Trade Agreement with China.
The current government and its supporters have claimed that the Free Trade Agreement poses a serious threat to the Maldives.