Mauritius and Madagascar are embarking on a new path of bilateral cooperation and expanding the existing collaboration with the establishment of a Joint Permanent Commission Mauritius-Madagascar. The first session of the Joint Commission was held yesterday at the Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort and Spa.

The setting up of the joint commission was agreed during the visit of the President of Madagascar, Mr Hery Rajaonarimampianina in Mauritius in 2016.

Under the Joint Permanent Commission, four agreements were signed yesterday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Madagascar, Mr Henry Rabary-Njaka, in the presence of the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Pradeep Roopun.

The agreements pertain to trade; Industrial Cooperation; mutual administrative cooperation in customs matters; and cultural matters.

The trade agreement aims at increasing the volume of trade in goods and services between Mauritius and Madagascar.

The MoU on Industrial Cooperation provides for the establishment of a framework for cooperation between the respective Ministries of Industry to identify opportunities for collaboration and promote the development of industrial sectors for the mutual benefits of both countries. Various facilities will also be provided under the MoU namely information exchange, exchange visits, capacity building, and cross-border trade.

Under the MoU on mutual administrative cooperation in customs matters, customs administrations in both countries will collaborate to exchange information to prevent, identify, and repress violations of customs laws and to ensure supply chain security.

The MoU on cultural matters provides for the promotion of mutual knowledge and understanding of their respective cultures, intellectual and artistic achievements as well as their respective histories and the way of living of the population. This agreement would encourage, among others joint projects and facilitate the exchange of visits of artistic and cultural delegations for participation in international cultural and artistic activities organised in Mauritius and Madagascar.

In his address, Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo stated that the setting up of the Joint Permanent Commission is a historical landmark into strengthening the relations between Mauritius and Madagascar for the mutual interest of both countries. According to him, the Joint Commission has enabled to identify cooperation and investment opportunities in different sectors, namely cooperative, fisheries, employment, higher education and Scientific Research among others.

For his part, the Malagasy Foreign Affairs Minister spoke of the longstanding relations between Madagascar and Mauritius and reiterated his interest to collaborate with Mauritius in various economic spheres. He recalled that the diplomatic ties which date back to some 50 years will be reinforced through this Joint Commission which will not only be a win-win situation for both countries but also help further promote the South-South cooperation.

Source: Government of Mauritius