Maldives has received duty-free status on fish exports to India.
The government has been working to provide fair prices for Maldivian fish products by removing tariffs on fish exports and expanding the market for Maldivian products. The discussion to remove the duty on Maldivian fish exports was held during President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s trip to India earlier this month. The decision was made after discussions held between the Government of the Maldives and the members of the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA).
Speaking to PSM News, Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail said that receiving duty-free status under SAFTA was a major accomplishment that will allow Maldivian fish products to be marketed in India. He said that President Solih’s discussions during his trip to India have allowed the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) and private companies to expand their businesses.
Additionally, Managing Director of MIFCO Ismail Fauzee said that receiving duty-free status will provide more opportunities for Maldivian fish products to be sold in India. Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture has stated that MIFCO incurs huge losses due to tariffs and that it was the biggest obstacle in providing higher rates to fishermen.
SAFTA is a 2004 free trade agreement of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) that created a free trade area in the region with the vision of increasing economic cooperation and integration.