Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed on Saturday sought to assure Maldivians that the country will not be affected by the ban on onion exports from neighbouring India.

India has imposed a ban on onion exports until March 2024 in a move aimed at curbing inflation ahead of the nation’s lower house, or Lok Sabha, elections.

While the Maldives’ relations with India are far from what they had been under the Ibrahim Mohamed Solih administration just a month ago and seem to have reset to a nascent state during the current Mohamed Muizzu administration, Minister Saeed took to social media to assuage public fears.

There is no barrier to importing any basic goods to the Maldives. Maldives will always be given priority by its trading partners. Changes in the world food market or in the export policy of individual countries are periodic.
President @MMuizzu [Mohamed Muizzu] has been looking at establishing food security for the people since his campaign days. God willing we will succeed with a sustainable solution.

Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed said in a two-part thread in Dhivehi posted on X.

India’s export ban is subject to certain exemptions in cases where various processes, for export, have been initiated before the ban was announced — with export extensions being allowed only until 5 January 2024.

The ban does, however, stipulate that exports would be considered should governments of countries appeal to the Indian government for permission. It is unclear at this point whether the Maldivian government has made such an appeal, as no official confirmation on the issue has been provided as of now by the ministry or other government agencies.

India has also banned exports of all rice, except for basmati rice, as part of the nation’s measures to curb inflation.