24-Feb-2021 Source: Mauritius Government
Mauritius and India have embarked on new avenues of bilateral cooperation with the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA), today, at the Receptorium of the National Assembly in Port Louis.
Prior to the signing of the CECPA, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth had a Tête-à-Tête with the External Affairs Minister of India, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, at the New Treasury Building, Port Louis.
Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar proceeded with a symbolic handing over of 100 000 Covishield vaccines commercially procured by Mauritius.
The exchange of six Agreements signed between India and Mauritius was on the programme. They are as follows:
A video presentation on upcoming projects supported by India was also on the agenda. These projects comprise the relocation of the Forensic Science Laboratory; a new National Archives and National Library; a new Civil Service College; construction of new health infrastructures; replacement of old water pipes to improve water supply; and the implementation of Solar PV Farm Project at Tamarind Falls.
In a statement to the media, Prime Minister Jugnauth expressed satisfaction regarding the fruitful Tête-à-Tête and the signing of the CECPA. This partnership agreement, he stated, is the first of its kind signed by India with an African country while adding that it will unleash new opportunities in trade in goods and services, investment, economic cooperation and technical assistance.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the CECPA will encourage Indian entrepreneurs to invest both in Mauritius and across the African region, thus consolidating Government’s vision of making Mauritius as a strategic regional economic hub and a centre of excellence. The signing of the CECPA coincides with the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area, he added.
The CECPA and the African Continental Free Trade Area, he said, provide scope for fostering Indian investments in the continent via the Mauritius gateway, particularly through leveraging India-Africa value chains in many areas such as textiles, pharmaceuticals, agro-industry and ICT.
Prime Minister Jugnauth reaffirmed Mauritius and India’s commitment to working together to enhance capacity for sustainable management of marine resources and to address challenges in the maritime domains, including piracy and multiple forms of maritime crime.
Both India and Mauritius, he added, have the common ambition of preserving and working for a safe, secure and prosperous Indian Ocean. To this end, he spoke of hosting the third edition of the Ministerial Conference on Maritime security this year with the contributions of India.
Prime Minister Jugnauth expressed his satisfaction for the unflinching support of India on the Chagos Archipelago issue. The support of India in facilitating an early exit of Mauritius from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) based on the country’s good records of implementation of the Action Plan was also evoked by the Prime Minister.
Speaking on the COVID-19 pandemic, he lauded the Government of India for its production and delivery capacity of vaccines in fighting the COVID-19 crisis. He extended his gratitude to the Government of India for the donation of 100 000 doses of vaccines in January 2021 and for facilitating the procurement of another 100 000. Another 200 000 doses of vaccines are expected in the upcoming months, he added.
The Prime Minister also extended his appreciation to the emergency assistance provided by India for the relief salvage operations following the oil spill which occurred when the bulk carrier MV Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef in July last year.
For his part, the External Affairs Minister of India congratulated the Government for successfully limiting the spread of Covid-19 in Mauritius. He reiterated India’s intent to facilitate the procurement of more vaccines and support Mauritius in its fight against the pandemic.
The Minister lauded the Mauritian Government for realising five major development projects funded by India under the Special Economic Package despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. They are: the Metro Express, the new Supreme Court building, the social housing units, the new ENT hospital and the supply of digital tablets to primary school children.
The assistance provided by India to Mauritius since the outbreak of the pandemic and the grounding of the MV Wakashio, he said, is evidence of the special bond existing between the two countries.
As regards the CEPCA, he indicated, it will provide a timely boost to the economic revival of the country and also enable business expansion adding that India will fully support Mauritius in its endeavour to foster economic recovery.
The CECPA covers components such as Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural Persons, Telecom, Financial services, Customs Procedures and Cooperation in other areas.
Under the Trade in Goods component, Mauritius will benefit from preferential market access on a list of 615 products, including sugar, tuna, rum, fruit wine, tropical fruits, medical devices and garments. Mauritius will provide preferential access on a list of 310 products including tea, spices, bed linen, material of steel and furniture, amongst others.
On Trade in Services, the CECPA will provide market access in sectors such as financial services, tourism, education, distribution, ICT and professional services. It also makes provision for professional bodies to conclude mutual recognition of qualification in sectors such as architecture, engineering, medical, dental, accounting and auditing.