Cabinet approves trade pact between India and Mauritius
Since 2005, India has been among the largest trading partners of Mauritius
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the signing of a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement, a kind of a free trade pact, between India and Mauritius which is aimed at liberalizing norms to boost two-way commerce.
The India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) will be the first trade Agreement to be signed by India with a country in Africa.
The Agreement will cover 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.
According to an official statement, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the signing of the agreement. The trade pact will come into force from March 1.
The free trade pact would cover 310 export items for India, including foodstuff and beverages, agricultural products, textile and textile articles, base metals, electricals and electronic items, plastics and chemicals, wood and its articles..
Mauritius would benefit from preferential market access into India for 615 products, including frozen fish, speciality sugar, biscuits, fresh fruits, juices, mineral water, beer, alcoholic drinks, soaps, bags, medical and surgical equipment, and apparel.
As regards trade in services, Indian service providers will have access to around 115 sub-sectors from the 11 broad service sectors such as professional services, computer related services, research and development, other business services, telecommunication, construction, distribution, education, environmental, financial, tourism and travel related, recreational, yoga, audio-visual services, and transport services.
India has offered around 95 sub-sectors from the 11 broad services sectors, including professional services, Research and Development, other business services, telecommunication, financial, distribution, higher education, environmental, health, tourism and travel related services, recreational services and transport services.
Both sides have also agreed to negotiate an Automatic Trigger Safeguard Mechanism (ATSM) for a limited number of highly sensitive products within two years of the Signing of the Agreement.
India and Mauritius enjoy excellent bilateral relations, sustained by historic cultural affinities, frequent high-level political interactions, development cooperation, defence and maritime partnership, and people to people linkages.
Mauritius is an important development partner of India. India had extended a ‘Special Economic Package’ of USD 353 million to Mauritius in 2016. The new Supreme Court building project is one of the five projects being implemented under this package and was jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth in July 2020.
In October 2019, Prime Minister Modi and the PM of Mauritius had jointly inaugurated the Phase-I of the Metro Express Project and the 100-bed state of the art ENT hospital project in Mauritius, also built under the special economic package.
Since 2005, India has been among the largest trading partners of Mauritius, and has been one of the largest exporters of goods and services to Mauritius. According to the International Trade Centre (ITC), in 2019, the main import partners of Mauritius were India (13.85%), China (16.69%), South Africa (8.07%), and UAE (7.28%).
The bilateral trade between India and Mauritius has registered a growth of 233% from USD 206.76 million in Financial Year (FY) 2005-06 to USD 690.02 million in FY 2019-20. India’s exports to Mauritius surged 232% from USD 199.43 million in FY 2005-06 to USD 662.13 million in FY 2019-20, while India’s imports from Mauritius increased 280% from USD7.33 million in 2005-06 to USD 27.89 million in FY 2019-20.
The India-Mauritius CECPA will further cement the already deep and special relations between the two countries.