A Maldivian trade delegation will visit Washington, D.C. on 10 July, Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed has said.

While accompanying President Mohamed Muizzu on his tour of the northern atolls, Saeed, speaking at an event at Milandhoo Island in Shaviyani (Sh) Atoll, said that this would be the first time in history that a Maldivian trade delegation has visited the United States.

A Maldivian delegation is also scheduled to travel to London on 15 May to hold consultations on advanced financial systems with a view to find modern solutions that will shape the Maldives’ future, he said.

Saeed said the administration has done a lot of work in the past three months and arrangements have been made to acquire staples, 10 percent in excess of annual requirements, from Türkiye and other friendly nations.

“The result of the current efforts for a free trade agreement with Türkiye is that 35 types of goods will be identified. The Government of Türkiye has also prepared a list for the same number on a free trade agreement and we are working to finalise this before the President’s next trip,” the Economic minister said.

Noting that he has also corresponded with the Egyptian government to import certain supplies, Saeed said that, similar to the past, a working committee had been formed with the advice of President Muizzu to ensure that food prices do not rise during Ramadan.

Imports from the United States have increased significantly over the past three years. In 2022 imports from the United States were valued at US$99 million; a 140 percent increase over the previous year. In 2022, the Maldives exported US$17 million worth of goods to the United States; a 19 percent increase over the previous year.