Governments of Maldives and the United States have discussed reforms to government procurement processes, trade capacity building and responsible business conduct during the joint council meeting under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
This was revealed through a joint statement on the results of the second joint council meeting under TIFA, held in Malé on Sunday.
Both government’s had worked through a full agenda that includes productive meetings to further strengthen fair and reciprocal trade under the agreement.
The statement went on to reveal that both governments had worked through an agenda on engagement with Maldivian and American businesses.
During the latest round of talks which was co-chaired by the Assistant United States Trade Representative Christopher Wilson and Maldives Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail, Minister Fayyaz signaled Maldivian government’s “strong desire” to continue the strong relationship with the US government, including access to the US issues related to the protection of the intellectual property rights and unique environmental concern of Maldives, workers’ rights and labor conditions within the Maldives and agreed that the government would continue to cooperate of these issues.
Further, Minister Fayyaz and Representative Wilson had acknowledged the “positive trends” in bilateral trade between both countries, adding that two-way trade has increased by nearly 30 percent between 2013 and 2018. As such, it had increased to USD 63 million.
They went on to hail the talks as another step forward in ensuring fair trade between partners.
In addition, discussions were also held on improving the investment climate and compliance with the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, including assistance that the Maldives may require in implementing the Agreement.