Maldives backs new Chinese investment bank, pursues free trade deal

The Maldives is to back a Chinese-initiated international finance institution to be called the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) while ministers have confirmed a free trade agreement is being pursued.

At a press conference today, the economic council revealed that the Maldives had asked to be included as a founding member of the proposed bank alongside the existing 21 countries, which includes both China and India.

Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Dr Mohamed Shainee also revealed that China was to become the Maldives first free trade partner, demonstrating the pair’s excellent bilateral relations.

The requests were put forward during a recent visit to China by the Economic Council where discussions were held on proceeding with Chinese-assisted projects, while the Maldives officially signed up to the Maritime Silk Road project.

The AIIB, which is to start up with a proposed US$100 billion capital, is purposed with financing infrastructure projects in the Asia Pacific region.

The bank has been described by some media outlets as having been set up with the intentions of increasing Chinese influence in Asia at the expense of the IMF, ADB, and the World Bank.

The economic council today confirmed that the Maldives has officially agreed to participate in China’s silk road trade route – the third country to do so, although Chinese state media has reported more than 50 states as expressing interest.

The two countries have also agreed to engage upon free trade in the future, explained the council.

“The biggest advantage of the free trade will go towards fishermen. With free trade and the 12 percent export duty will be gone, thus the 12 percent becomes profit for fishermen,” said Shainee.

When questioned about the potential economic disadvantages which might occur because of a free trade agreement, Minister at the President’s office Mohamed Shareef said that both governments will make sure that the agreement leads to a ‘win-win’ for the countries.

“I want to mention that the free trade talks were initiated by the Maldives,” said Shareef. “China is willing to give us a lot of leeway into how we structure the agreement.”

Shareef also said – citing Chinese sources – that the Maldives is the number one South Asian destination for Chinese tourists at the moment. Chinese tourists currently make up around one third of all tourist arrivals to the Maldives.

The economic council also stated that work on the proposed new terminal at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) is to begin in the next six to seven months and that the request for the loan to finance the project has been submitted to the Chinese Exim bank.

The council members also reiterated the importance of the proposed Malé-Hulhulé Bridge, saying that there is good progress and that the government is aiming to open it by the year 2017.

Related to this story

Silk road deal to be concluded in China-Maldives economic committee

Chinese President Xi Jinping calls for Maldives involvement in 21st century maritime silk road

President Yameen slams “Western colonial powers,” declares foreign policy shift to East

Agreements on bridge and airport penned during Chinese president’s visit


6 thoughts on “Maldives backs new Chinese investment bank, pursues free trade deal”

  1. China will be willing to give a lot of leeway in order to lure you into their arms. Surprised by that?

    China will give you almost anything you want now, in order to ensure your long term dependence on them! This is not altruism at play. This is pure and simple capitalism played by an authoritarian regime run by central planners who are very good at what they do.

    The entire world's production line is now in China. Take a look at the conditions under which Chinese workers are being treated in order to produce your cheap goods. It's worse than slavery. Seen pictures of Chinese workers falling asleep on their assembly lines from fatigue? Seen how they are marched in and out of their dormitories to do 12 to 16 hour shifts for weeks on end? If you have not, it's worth taking the time to look into Chinese labor practices. The money you're being handed in loans is a result of the blood of those poor people!

    And take a good look at what's going on here: Chinese tourists account for most of our arrivals; tourism represents virtually the whole of our GDP; China has an arm in almost every "investment" direct or indirect that's coming in. Does that ring any alarm bells anywhere?

    If the answer is no, then go to sleep. Wake up in a decade or so and see the results.

  2. Will these three in the photo seen here go down in history as the ones that sold the Maldives to the Chinese for a penny?

  3. I guess cult followers will see things in a different way and they won't see any good in anything unless initiated by the cult leader Nasheeed.

    What had been sold so far penny ? Tourist they are paying money to come and spend thier holiday.?

    China is going to give a loan to build our infrastructure ?

    They are not like GMR who had not put any money in this country and only gave few millions to Nasheed and his thugs and rob our country.

    Majority of Maldivian are sick of Nasheed.

  4. China has imperilaistic designs that are well know & they would like to become a superpower that too is well known. The decade long projects in Africa that are not doing too well - quality issues, that too is well known.
    Projects in Sri Lankan mired in corruption that too is well documented & well known.
    Chinese tourists being the largest outbound travellers that too is well known.
    Seychelles & Mauritius becoming more well known & more exotic because of the mixed nationalities that visit them is also fairly well established.
    Time for us to wake up & smell the coffee, the bubble is about to burst & unless we start making concrete efforts we are going to be looking at a financial mess.
    GMR is history - good or bad only time will tell.
    With economic slowdown in the near horizon tough days are ahead.

  5. @China

    How can people like Hero grasp what you said.Then how the country since Maldives is represented by 99% Heros

  6. @Ali.
    If 99% of our people like what i said and then why are you jumping up and down.

    In a democracy, majority prevail and minority has to accept the majority decision.

    Stop shooting at your own feet


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