20 October 2014, Malé, Maldives; Senior officials from the Governments of the United States and Republic of Maldives met today under the United States-Maldives Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to launch their trade dialogue and evaluate developments in our trade and investment relationship. The officials discussed a wide range of trade and investment issues including the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), labor and worker rights’ issues, trade promotion efforts, intellectual property rights, fishery and other exports, and Maldives’ plans for attracting significant foreign investment. Progress on all of these trade and investment issues is expected to foster economic growth, providing a strong foundation for inclusive economic development in Maldives and improved trade relations between the two countries.
This event is the first meeting held under the U.S.-Maldives Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). The U.S.-Maldives TIFA, signed in October 2009, created the United States-Maldives Council on Trade and Investment, the primary forum for bilateral trade and investment discussions between the two countries. The Council is the main platform for pursuing sustained and multi-faceted high-level engagement between the United States and Maldives on trade and investment issues, including addressing impediments to greater trade and investment flows between the two countries.
During the meeting, both parties took note of progress Maldives is making on labor conditions and labor rights and outlined plans for future cooperative work in this area. Additionally, both parties discussed ways to collaborate further to strengthen the legal and regulatory framework governing business and intellectual property rights in Maldives.
The Trade and Investment Framework Agreement encourages public and private sector dialogue and seeks to facilitate business linkage conferences and investment fora on the sidelines of TIFA official meetings. In fulfillment of this, Maldives and the United States committed to plan for a U.S.-Maldives Business Conference in conjunction with their next meeting under the TIFA.