Local currency trade with China and India will strengthen Maldivian Rufiyaa: Minister Saeed

22 May 2024 | 15:43
Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Mohamed Saeed (Photo/President's office)

In a recent interview in PSM program, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Mohamed Saeed, highlighted ongoing efforts to enhance the strength of the Maldivian currency by facilitating international trade using the local currency with China and India.

Minister Saeed explained that halting the printing of money has already contributed to the strengthening of the Maldivian Rufiyaa.

He outlined that current initiatives aim to enable the use of local currency for trade with China and India, two of Maldives' major import partners.

Such measures, he noted, would further strengthen the Maldivian currency.

The Maldives currently imports goods worth approximately USD 600-700 million from China and a similar amount from India, totaling around USD 1.4-1.6 billion from both countries combined.

Minister Saeed emphasized that if even 50% of these transactions could be conducted in local currency, it would significantly reduce the demand for US dollars.

If we are able to do this, even if 50% of this is arranged, USD 300 million from each country then that is USD 600 million thus the need for dollars for that amount will be reduced, decreasing the demand for dollars,

stated Minister Saeed.

He credited President Dr. Muizzu for spearheading these initiatives and noted that China’s Minister of Commerce has expressed support, while India’s High Commissioner has shown interest as well.

Additionally, China’s WeChat Pay was introduced through the Bank of Maldives (BML) earlier this month, and India’s Ru Pay service is set to launch soon.

Reducing dollar dependency and strengthening the local currency are top priorities for the current administration.