Maldives Expresses Gratitude to India for Essential Commodities Export
Maldives Expresses Gratitude to India for Essential Commodities Export

Maldives' Foreign Minister, Moosa Zameer, extended thanks to India for allowing the export of essential commodities to his nation. Zameer hailed India's decision as a testament to the enduring bilateral friendship and a commitment to bolster trade ties. India's High Commission announced the renewal of quotas for essential commodities export for the year 2024-25 following a request from the Maldives government.

The Indian High Commissioner, through a social media post, highlighted the unique bilateral mechanism facilitating the increase in quotas for these items. This move marks the highest approved quantities since the inception of this arrangement in 1981.

Zameer expressed gratitude to India's External Affairs Minister, Dr. S Jaishankar, and the Indian government for their support in renewing the quota. He emphasized that this gesture underscores the deep-rooted friendship and mutual dedication to enhancing bilateral trade and commerce.

In response, Minister Jaishankar reaffirmed India's commitment to its Neighbourhood First and SAGAR policies. SAGAR, which stands for Security and Growth for All in the Region, represents India's maritime cooperation doctrine in the Indian Ocean region. The Neighbourhood First Policy underscores India's priority on fostering strong ties with neighboring countries.

The renewal of quotas comes amid diplomatic tensions between the Maldives and India since November last year. These tensions escalated when President Mohamed Muizzu, known for his pro-China stance, demanded the repatriation of Indian military personnel. Additionally, crass comments from Maldivian officials further strained relations after Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared photos and videos of the Lakshadweep Islands, sparking backlash and a #BoycottMaldives campaign.

The 1981 trade agreement between India and the Maldives facilitates the export of essential commodities. Bilateral trade between the two countries exceeded USD 300 million in 2021 and surpassed USD 500 million in 2022.

India's commitment to supporting human-centric development in the Maldives remains strong under its Neighbourhood First policy. Quotas for crucial construction materials like river sand and stone aggregates have been increased by 25 percent to meet the demands of the booming construction industry in the Maldives.

Given the geographical constraints of the Maldives, which lacks sufficient natural resources like river sand, the import of such materials is crucial for sustaining its construction sector's growth.

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