July saw an acceleration in our endeavours on the economic diplomacy front to find new markets and identify new business opportunities for local enterprises, with ongoing initiatives with regards to negotiations with China and India for the Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement and the India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement respectively.
Second round of negotiations of the Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement
The Mauritian delegation was led by representatives from the International Trade Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, Regional Integration and International Trade and included, amongst others, the Economic Development Board, the Financial Services Commission, the State Law Office, the Mauritius Revenue Authority and other private sector organization. The EDB led the discussions for the Investment Chapter and participated in the negotiations of Trade in Goods; Trade in Services; E-Commerce; Economic Cooperation; and Dispute Settlement chapters.
Regarding the trade of goods between Mauritius and China, the Parties have made significant progress in eliminating barriers and encouraging trade traffic; the market access on the discussions table would provide unique value propositions for companies operating in the two jurisdictions. On the investment chapter as well as on the trade in services chapter, the proposals are still being discussed and further clarifications have been requested by both sides. Mauritius and China are also seeking on expanding their cooperation on various fronts through the Economic Cooperation chapter.
5th Meeting on the India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA)
The 5th Meeting on the India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) were held on 9-11 July 2018 in Mauritius.
The Indian delegation was led by the Joint Secretary for Africa Division, Department of Commerce, while negotiations for Mauritius were led by the International Trade Division, with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade opening the discussions.
The Economic Development Board participated in negotiations on Economic Cooperation, Trade in Services and Trade in Goods.
On the Economic Cooperation Chapter, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development led the negotiations, and the Chapter was almost finalized, pending conclusion on a last request from the Mauritian side.
Negotiations on trade in services continued, in particular with regards to movement of natural persons and services requests and offers, while trade in goods focused on the Joint Mauritius-India PTA/FTA text, SPS, TBT and Rules of Origin chapters as well as on Product Specific Rules and Request lists of both sides.
It was agreed that to expedite the negotiations, discussions on certain specific issues would be undertaken through video conferencing, while the next round of negotiations has been tentatively set in August.