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India Pushing for Free Trade Agreement With Maldives

© Photo : Twitter/@narendramodiIndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldives’ President Mohamed Muizzu held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai on Thursday.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldives’ President Mohamed Muizzu held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai on Thursday. - Sputnik India, 1920, 26.05.2024
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The island nation is looking to open free trade routes with all its partners, explained Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed. India-Maldives commerce rocketed to $500 million in 2022.
The Maldives announced on Saturday that Delhi has initiated efforts to establish a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two nations.

India is keen on establishing a FTA with Maldives, in addition to the existing South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), said Saeed during a press conference.

Saeed highlighted that the Maldives' president has extended a similar opportunity to all partners, emphasizing the government's aim to enter into agreements with as many nations as possible to facilitate trade.

India's reported endeavour to pursue a free trade agreement with the Maldives comes amidst an ongoing diplomatic dispute between the two countries since November last year.

As part of the spat, President Mohamed Muizzu called for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the Maldives, with civilian personnel replacing the military presence earlier this month.
Nonetheless, bilateral trade between India and the Maldives has experienced significant growth recently, surpassing $300 million for the first time in 2021 and exceeding the $500 million milestone in 2022, according to records from the Indian High Commission.
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