China Opens Doors for Maldivians with Visa-Waiver Agreement

PUBLISHED February 19, 2023 | updated February 19, 2023 05:56

The Maldives and China have announced that their visa-waiver agreement has now taken effect, allowing Maldivian travellers to enter China without a prior visa. Although the agreement was signed in 2020, it had not taken effect due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, with restrictions being lifted, Maldivians can now travel to China without a visa on a 30-day visa-free basis. This new visa-free travel arrangement is expected to promote tourism and strengthen ties between the two nations.

The Maldives is a small island nation located in the Indian Ocean, and its economy is highly dependent on tourism. Over the years, China has become an important source of tourists for the Maldives. The new visa-free arrangement is therefore expected to boost tourism in the Maldives, which has suffered greatly due to the pandemic.

In addition to the visa-waiver agreement with China, the Maldives has also signed similar agreements with other nations in recent years. For example, in 2019, the Maldives signed a visa-waiver agreement with the United Arab Emirates, which enabled Maldivians to travel to the UAE without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Similarly, a visa-waiver agreement was signed with the Seychelles, allowing Maldivians to visit the island nation without a visa for up to 90 days.

This visa-free travel agreement is part of China's efforts to boost tourism and strengthen ties with the Maldives. In recent years, China has been actively seeking to deepen its economic and diplomatic ties with countries around the world, including in South Asia. The visa-free arrangement with the Maldives is therefore an important step in strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two nations.



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