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The Chinese Ambassador to Maldives HE Zhang Lizhong has reiterated on his stand that the China-Maldives Free Trade Agreement will be of mutual benefit. In a tweet made today, Chinese ambassador stated that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will conform to international practices.

The Chinese Ambassador went on to state that the FTA will lift Maldivian economy and trade to new levels. He continued on to explain that China has signed 18 FTA’s with 22 trade partners. He also stated that none of the FTA’s has disrupted trade ties with any country’s trade partners. This was likely made as retort to Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail’s interview where he alleged that the China- Maldives FTA will disrupt trade with other states.

The FTA between China and Maldives has become the subject of serious political debate with the current administration stating that the FTA will destroy the Maldivian economy and its ties with its trade partners. The opposition however, has maintained that the FTA is beneficial and crucial in transforming Maldivian economy. Former Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed has consistently advocated and maintained that the FTA is vital for expanding Maldivian seafood products to the untapped 1.7 billion people in East Asia.

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