The Maldives Trade Union has expressed concern over the government's commitment to signing a free trade agreement with China.
A statement from the union said that the agreement could prove to be detrimental to local businesses, namely small and medium sized enterprises, as large businesses from China could dominate domestic markets.
The statement likened the free trade agreement to one signed between the 'vora' traders, a group of merchants native to India, in 1970.
The union said that the traders had essentially pushed out local merchants and monopolized local markets, until the government -- with much effort -- were able to terminate the agreement.
MTU argues that free-trade agreements are conventionally made between countries entertaining similar economical growth or stability, highlighting on the contrasting difference in the economies of China and Maldives.