Consultations will be held with India and China, the largest importers to Maldives, with a view to allow for the payment of imported goods with Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR), Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed has said.

Speaking during a rally at Maavah Island, in Laamu (L) Atoll, Saeed said that should administration aligned candidates win a majority of parliamentary seats, the US dollar (USD) rate would be reduced to the official bank rate within at least two years.

The minister said trade with India amounted to US$780 million and China US$720 million every year and all signs point to the possibility of a non-dollar payment arrangement for the goods imported into the Maldives.

Saeed revealed that the administration had invited the Governor of the Central Bank of China to visit the Maldives and that they were working to sign a currency swap agreement, facilitating Chinese imports to be paid for in Yuan (CN¥) or MVR.

Similarly, the aim is to ensure that goods imported from India can be paid with MVR, the minister stated. Saeed said the Maldives is not a country that will limit relations with any other country and one that was open to trade.

“Should we get a majority in parliament, the Maldivian Rufiyaa will strengthen by 30 to 40 percent against the dollar. What will be the result? The dollar will fall below 15.42 in the future… This is what you would ask of the country’s President,” Saeed remarked.

Saeed further elaborated that the administration was working diligently to bring all the world’s most popular e-wallet services to the Maldives and that formal talks will be held with Alipay and WeChat on 14 April to bring their services to the country.

President Mohamed Muizzu has been working to strengthen the economy and will need a majority in the upcoming parliamentary elections to bolster and accelerate the work being done, the minister said.