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No restrictions on fish exports to Sri Lanka: Foreign Minister

Mariyam Malsa
18 October 2020, MVT 13:01
Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid recently revealed that Sri Lanka would not restrict fish exports from Maldives. PHOTO: FOREIGN MINISTRY
Mariyam Malsa
18 October 2020, MVT 13:01

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid, on Friday, revealed that Sri Lanka guaranteed that there would be no restrictions on Maldivian fish exports to the neighbouring country.

The foreign minister made the announcement following discussions with Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda and State Minister of Finance Ajith Nivard Cabraal.

In August, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced intentions to halt the import of fish products as part of the measures to protect the country's domestic industries from foreign competition.

Speaking at the parliament during the previous week, Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture Zaha Waheed assured that there would be little cause for concern even in the event that Sri Lanka barred fish imports. She reiterated ongoing efforts to establish fisheries exports to more profitable markets such as China and Russia.

Parliamnent Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has stressed Sri Lanka's role in Maldives' fisheries industry and expressed a preference for continued trade.

The Maldivian fisheries industry was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with several major exporters reporting lower sales.

The majority of Maldives' export revenue is sourced from exports of fish products, with raw fish shipments accounting for as much as 70 percent of fish exports.

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