China is looking forward to importing Maldivian tuna with the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two nations, Ambassador to the Maldives Wang Lixin has confirmed.

In a post to social media Ambassador Wang, sharing a post by the Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean Resources celebrating World Tuna Day, expressed China’s enthusiasm for Maldives’ tuna.

“Looking forward to the Maldivian tuna’s easy entry into the Chinese market with the ratification of FTA at an early date,” Wang posted.

Wang’s comments came as President Mohamed Muizzu, during his visit to China last January, had stated that exporting fish to China under the FTA was a major goal for his administration.

The president said the FTA symbolises the close trade relationship between Maldives and China. His administration was ready to implement the agreement and will give priority to exporting fish to China under the agreement, Muizzu had said.

“This is the most comprehensive and first free trade agreement China has signed with a South Asian country. The purpose of this agreement is to enhance trade relations and investments between the two countries,” he said.

The FTA was signed on 18 December 2014 during a visit to China by then-President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, and approved by the majority administration-aligned parliament on 29 November 2017.

Implementation of the agreement was delayed when the then opposition-aligned administration led by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih took office on 17 November 2018.