India as the leading exporter of onions is currently in the middle of a ban for exports of onion from December until March because of a dramatic increase in the prices of essential commodities. However, India has granted exemptions to numerous nations on the basis of diplomatic relations, in accordance with India’s Ministry of External Affairs’ suggestions. This permit permits the export of onions into Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Bahrain, Bhutan as well as Nepal. But, Maldives does not appear on this list. It is an interesting exclusion given its high dependence on Indian onion imports that comprise more than 90% of the consumption. This is in the midst of an currently in place agreement on discounted imports of food of India to Maldives will expire on March.
After the announcement of the ban on exports from India and the subsequent increase in prices for onions in Maldives rose which prompted local actions to calm the market. As a result of the trade wars, Maldives has been exploring alternatives to imports essential to the country and has signed a new deal with Turkey in order to lessen dependence of Indian essentials. The move, along with efforts to diversify the sources such as potatoes, onions and eggs, is an important change in Maldives policy on imports amidst continuing diplomatic efforts to reconsider the country’s trade and military ties with India.