Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has stated that he will not implement the China-Maldives Free Trade Agreement without amendments. Speaking to the Public Service media, Minister Fayyaz Ismail said that there are clauses within the agreement which may be detrimental to the Maldivian economy.
“This is a high level work. As far as I am aware, this government’s position on the FTA is to review it” said Minister Fayyaz Ismail, hinting on the possibility that the reviewing process is being handled outside of his office. He further noted that there are some benefits to the Maldivian economy, but most of the benefits are in favor of China.
He also alleged that implementing such a FTA with china would disrupt the older trade partnerships between Maldives and other states. “This will bar us from resuming other trade projects. So as the Economic Minister, I will not implement this FTA as it is now.” said Minister Fayyas affirming his position on the matter.
The topic of China-Maldives FTA resurfaced after Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed stated that the FTA is null and void since the constitution lacks any specific articles pertaining to FTA’s. However, then Economic Minister and Current Maavashu constituency MP Mohamed Saeed has maintained that the FTA is valid and beneficial to the Maldives. MP Mohamed Saeed who also serves as the opposition Vice-President has been a proponent of the FTA with multiple tweets made in support of it, highlighting the fact that the FTA would allow Maldivian seafood products to be opened up to the world’s largest seafood market at 0% duty.