For a balanced diet: More Maldive fish please!
Identifying areas of supply between Sri Lanka and the Maldives as well as an outlook to increase exports of fish products to Sri Lanka by the latter were recently highlighted, by Maldivian Minister of Economic Development and Trade.
Maldivian Minister Mohammed Jaleel, speaking to The Sunday Times FT on the sidelines of the Sri Lanka – Maldives Bilateral Business Council said , “The challenge lies in identifying those areas of the supply chain where the Maldives and Sri Lanka can work together to increase trade and joint ventures.”
He also added “we are also looking to increase our exports, mainly of fish products to Sri Lanka, and there’s plenty more that Sri Lankans can take.”
Maldive fish already constitutes 72% by value of the Maldives’ export basket to Sri Lanka.
Trade barriers seemed a bigger concern for Jaleel, “We have issues about putting certain items on a sensitive list. For small countries like ourselves, it’s not good for either.”
“The way forward is to have a reciprocal dialogue to eliminate trade-distorting tariff barriers in a time-bound manner where we could then work together in creating trade-enhancing measures. In any case, we are all bound by SAARC and SAFTA rules in eliminating trade tariffs within a particular period.”
J Kehelpannala, the newly-elected President of the Executive Committee, is the Executive Vice President at John Keells Holdings.
In his opinion, a lot of investments were being made by Sri Lanka in the Maldives – which ought to be reciprocated. “We should also look at new initiatives in other areas,” he said. (AM)