US-Maldives: First Bilateral Trade Talks
20 October 2014
The Governments of the Maldives and the Unites States of America (USA) held their first bilateral discussion since signing the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) in 2009, to discuss engagement procedures, labor, intellectual property, and the investment climate. Minister of Economic Development Mr. Mohamed Saeed announced the Maldives’ plan to lessen economic reliance on tourism, including changes to the investment climate through Special Economic Zones Act (SEZ). The SEZ aims for economic transformation and growth based on infrastructure investment across value-added sectors.
Total trade between the two countries more than doubled between 2009 and 2013. The Maldives’ major export to the USA is fish products and the Government has plans to more than triple the amount of fish exports to the USA by 2018. As part of their initial agreement five years ago, both parties would also hold talks at least once a year.
The United States Council on Trade and Investment established by TIFA monitors trade flows, seeks new opportunities and removes obstacles to investment. The USA has TIFA agreements with more than 60 countries worldwide.