'Hopeful that tariffs imposed on fish exports to UK will be eliminated': Minister

Fisheries Minister Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan has said there is high hope that the tariffs imposed on Maldivian fish products exported to the United Kingdom will be lowered.

Speaking on a program aired by local channel, RaajjeTV on Monday night, Minister Hussain said the UK is one of the main countries to which Maldives' fish products are exported. If the tariffs imposed on Maldivian products are eliminated, it will greatly benefit the fishing sector, said the minister.

The Maldives government has previously requested to reduce tariffs on fish exports to Europe. However, the European Union declined to grant the request, stating that the Maldives failed to comply with international conventions concerning freedom of religion. Minister Hussain said it is unlikely the request will continue to be rejected on the same basis and said there are other factors in play, such as the EU maintaining trade ties with Spain and France's fishing companies.

'The European Union will take into account its relationship with two other European countries. However, the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union. The UK remains our biggest market. I believe we will get the zero rate by the time the COP26 summit is held. We will hopefully achieve this by negotiating with the UK government,' the minister said.