Mauritius will serve as pilot country of how the European Union (EU) collaborates and partners with more advanced economies. In this endeavour the Government and the private sector will play a key role in discussing with the EU on formulating strategies for putting in place the proper instruments.

This was at the fore of the opening of the Sixth Political Dialogue between Mauritius and EU this morning at the Le Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, in Port Louis in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the EU delegation, Mrs Marjaana Sall, as well as Ambassadors from France, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Spain.

In his opening remarks, Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo highlighted the excellent relations between Mauritius and Brussels which has always supported Mauritius in all spheres and underlined that they go beyond working relations. He elaborated on taking steps to adapt to the changing world adding that Mauritius as a small country has to decide its long term needs and strategy. He called for the EU to provide assistance to Mauritius in areas which are beyond our means for the long term sustainable development of the country for the future generations.

He emphasised that Africa is a potential niche for Mauritius and that the country should tap into the various opportunities which will not only enhance South-South cooperation but eventually help the African continent to prosper. Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo also dwelt on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and Post Cotonou agreement and Mauritius' role on regional economic integration of the Africa Strategy adding that more private investments should be encouraged in Africa to create more job opportunities.

For her part, Ambassador Sall reiterated the strong partnerships between EU and Mauritius especially in the context of the post Cotonou negotiations which over the years experienced a broad diversification. She recalled that the EU remains the major exporting market for Mauritius that is 52% of trade and services which has been possible under the EPA. She highlighted the importance of the 6th political dialogue which according to her is an ideal platform to discuss on bilateral and regional and global issues while at the same strengthening the comprehensive partnership between EU and Mauritius.

She underpinned that the 6th political platform will also place both Mauritius and the EU at turning points to formulate proper strategies and policies for the way forward while promoting common values and interests. She concluded by stating that the EU has changed to a global political player in various spheres besides to the Mauritian economy which is more dynamic in the face of the global volatile economy.

The 6th Political Dialogue is a process enshrined in Article 8 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) and is the most important framework for North-South cooperation. The dialogue is an opportunity for Mauritius to collaborate with its EU partners to take stock of the current state of the political partnership and pave way the way forward for further cooperation while deepening the relations between EU and Mauritius with exchanges on issues of common interest.

Source: Government of Mauritius