No free trade agreement between Maldives and China – Speaker Nasheed

Chinese Ambassador to Maldives Zhang Lizhong (L) with Speaker of the Parliament of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed (R) | Photo: Maldives Independent

Malé, Maldives — On Wednesday’s parliament sitting, Speaker Nasheed states that there is no free trade agreement between Maldives and China.

When the MP for Kaashidhoo, Abdullah Jabir questioned, Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer on why Maldivian fishermen are not benifiting from the 2017 trade agreement, Nasheed stated that the free trade agreement signed with China in 2017 does not exist.

The Finance Minister added that he was not aware of any operative free trade agreements and stressed that unless the required legislations are available, the signed FTA will not come into effect. He also highlighted that “ it is the parliament’s responsibility” to ensure it.

The former president then responded to the minister saying that “there is no free trade agreement between Maldives and China”.

Nasheed continued to cite the Article 165 of the agreement and informed that for the agreement to be effective, it needs the parliament to adopt the required legislations within 30 days after the agreement is signed.

He further noted that since the information regarding the agreement needs to be shared between officials of both nations, “the agreement becomes official only after these information are shared”. Nasheed noted that the 18th parliament had failed to complete the aforementioned procedure.