India on Monday signed free trade agreement along with five key pacts with Mauritius, making it the first such agreement with an African country.
The agreement was signed during the visit of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to Mauritius. On the occasion, Jaishankar said India is privileged to have entered the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) with Mauritius.
“This Agreement is India’s first-such Agreement with an African country as noted by the Prime Minister. It will provide a timely boost for the revival of our post-COVID economies and also enable Indian investors to use Mauritius as a launch-pad for business expansion into continental Africa helping the prospect of Mauritius emerging as a ‘hub of Africa’,” he said.
CECPA will provide preferential access to Mauritius for the bulk of trade and also for many “aspirational items” in future in the Indian market of over a billion people, he said.
These include frozen fish, speciality sugar, biscuits, fresh fruits, juices, mineral water, soaps, bags, medical and surgical equipment, and apparel.
Mauritius will get preferential access for the export of 40,000 tonnes of sugar into India at an early time frame.
Similarly, there will also be access for the export of 7.5 million pieces of apparel. As regards trade in services, India has offered 95 sub-sectors from 11 broad services sectors and this contributes 76 per cent of GDP of the island country.
Jaishankar said CECPA will surely boost the dynamism of the services sector in Mauritius. “The CECPA could also facilitate Indian investment in the services sector in Mauritius, especially in the ICT sector as Indian companies could benefit by leveraging the bilingual prowess of Mauritius for investments in Francophone Africa,” he said.
India delivered 100,000 doses of Made in India COVID-19 vaccines on Monday. India and Mauritius inked another agreement according which India will provide a Dornier aircraft and Advanced Light Helicopter ‘Dhruv’ on lease to Mauritius on a gratis basis for two years.