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Maldives: Geopolitics of IOR by Sahibzada M Saeed September 14,2018   |  Source: Pakistan Observer

The recent development in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) which has discomforted India is the Maldivian decision to ask India to take back its troops and military hardware from Maldives in given time period. For decades India enjoyed its sphere of influence in Maldives, an archipelago which sits near the world’s busiest Sea Lane of Communication (SLOC) in the Indian Ocean. The policy making circles in New Delhi are considering this move of an island nation on the consent of Beijing. Here it is important to mention that most recently Maldives and China have signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on Maldives’ President Abdulla Yameen’s visit to Beijing. Different experts on IOR are considering this FTA a stunning blow for Indian Influence.

Under the FTA, China and Maldives “would reduce the tariffs of over 95 percent of the goods to zero. They are also committed to opening the service market such as finance, healthcare and tourism and agreed to cooperate practically in key areas,” China said in a statement. According to Maldives’ Ministry for Economic Development, although the country will lose $4 million in import duty revenue in 2018 because of a tariff waiver on Chinese goods, it will earn higher revenue from the goods and services tax due to “trade creation” and

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