Maldives - UK in the process of drawing up a free trade agreement

Following the Maldives becoming a middle-income nation in 2013, a 24 percent tariff was imposed on tuna that was exported from the Maldives to EU nations, which includes the UK.

Though the Maldivian islands might be well-known worldwide for the white sandy beaches and untouched islands that visitors pay thousands to visit, there is one more thing that the Maldives is known for – its fishing industry. Maldivians have been involved in the fishing industry since decades ago, and have now become well-known for the sustainable pole and line fishing methods that are used in the country in order to catch fish. 

With this sustainable practice, the Maldives does not only produce sustainable fish, but as the fish are caught in the right amount just when it is needed, the country’s fish, especially tuna has become well-known for its delicious flavours. Over the years, Maldivians have moved on from using tuna to produce more than the Maldivian delicacies, moving on to producing a different variety of goods that are made out of fish. 

Over the years, Maldives has made a name for its tuna industry with the exportation of fish-based products worldwide. And though the country’s fishing industry has come a long way since the small start, following the Maldives becoming a middle-income nation, there were some changes to the industry.

After this change came about, a 24 percent tariff was imposed on tuna that was exported from the Maldives to EU nations, which includes the UK. This meant that regardless of the price that the Maldivians wanted to sell its tuna at, the prices that people were paying in the UK were much higher due to the tariff.

But now, after so many years, there might be some changes to the 24 percent tariff and increased prices for those in the UK as the Foreign Minister of the Maldives has announced that the Maldives is working alongside the Government of the UK in order to draw up a free-trade agreement. 

“Through this development, the economic ties between the Maldives and the UK will be reinforced, and business relations between the two countries will further strengthen” 
Foreign Minister Shahid

The discussions that are underway for this free-trade agreement is the hard work of years, as the current and previous administration have been working extra hard in order to bring about the free-trade agreement to a reality. And now, after years, there is finally some hope and possibility of this agreement becoming a reality, making it cheaper and easier to export fish from the Maldives to the UK. 

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