During his visit to Belgium, Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer engaged in discussions aimed at reducing tariffs on Maldives tuna products, expressing optimism about potential tariff reductions.
Zameer visited Brussels to attend the third European Union Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum, where he emphasized the significance of the European Union as a key development partner for the Maldives. He underscored the visit as an opportunity to highlight Maldives’ priorities and enhance EU-Maldives relations.
In meetings with Nicola Procaccini, Chair of the Delegation for relations with countries in South Asia, and Paola Pampalono, Deputy Managing Director of the European External Action Service, Zameer expressed hope for tariff reductions on Maldives tuna products and discussed broadening cooperation between the Maldives and the EU.
Additionally, discussions focused on facilitating visa-free travel to Europe for Maldivians. In a meeting with David McAllister, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, Zameer explored avenues for deeper collaboration with the EU, including Schengen visa facilitation and security cooperation.
The current 24% tariff on fish exports poses a significant challenge for the Maldives, hindering competitiveness in the EU market.
Maldives government officials always highlights the environmentally and socially sustainable fishing practices employed by Maldivian fishermen, particularly the pole and line method used for tuna fishing. Zameer expressed hope for a reduction in tariffs, which would greatly benefit the Maldives.
Overall, the discussions during Zameer’s visit aimed to strengthen bilateral ties between the Maldives and the EU, with a focus on trade, fisheries, and visa facilitation.