Maldives considers scrapping Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China
Maldives, which has been steadily restricting its ties with China, may scrap its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Beijing to safeguard trade relations with other countries including India. The FTA established between Maldives and China during the regime of former president Abdulla Yameen will hinder trade relations with other countries, stated Maldives’ economic minister Fayyaz Ismail recently.
The FTA with China was approved by Parliament in 2017 during Yameen’s tenure. The contentious agreement was signed between the then Maldives president and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during the former's first state visit to Beijing in 2017. Speaking on a programme aired by the state radio station, Ismail said the agreement should not have been signed in the first place and said it was detrimental to the country’s economy.