Local & International Trade
Multilateral Trade Agreements
Maldives became an original member of the WTO on 31 May 1995; it had been a General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) contracting party since 19 April 1983. Over 26 years history as the GATT and WTO member, Maldives has not been involved in any disputes under the WTO (or GATT) Dispute Settlement Mechanism. As a Member of the WTO, the Maldives accords at least MFN treatment to all WTO Members. Furthermore, as a least developed country (LDC), the Maldives is eligible for "special and differential treatment” under WTO rules.
The Maldives continues to believe that the ongoing Doha Rounds of negotiation will set the terms of trade for decades to come. Further, the Round presents unprecedented opportunities to LDCs, especially with regards to technical assistance and the “Aid for Trade Initiative” both of which would contribute to our development and improve our compliance with WTO agreements. In September 2008, Maldives appointed first-ever Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed; to the WTO. These steps would ensure increased participation in WTO meetings, and would thus result in greater understanding of WTO.
Maldives supported several initiatives to stop LDC marginalization, including developed countries making binding commitments to grant LDCs duty-free and quota-free access exempt from anti-dumping duties, safeguard actions, and non-tariff barriers, and to harmonize rules of origin, including under unilateral preference scheme.