Foreign Minister talks immigrants and tax-free trade in Dhaka

Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem has this week reportedly pledged that the Maldives will lift taxes on the import of products such as pharmaceuticals from Bangladesh as well as work to register tens of thousands of unauthorised workers from the country currently living within its shores.

According to a report for the online Bangladesh-based news service, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in attempts to try and uphold the rights of Bangladeshi workers in the Maldives during a meeting in Dhaka on Sunday (May 29) between Naseem and his Bangladeshi counterpart Dipu Moni.

Talking to reporters, the two foreign ministers claimed that of some estimated 70,000 Bangladeshis working in the Maldives, only 12,000 were thought to be officially authorised to do so.  Both countries therefore committed to trying to register workers from Bangladesh in the Maldives.

As part of his visit to the country, Naseem also reportedly committed to reove taxes on imports of Bangladeshi product to the Maldives particularly for pharmaceuticals by the end of the year.

The report stated that Maldivian judicial and foreign ministry officials would be invited to undertake training in Bangladesh, while doctors and nurses will be bought to the Maldives for employment.