Mauritius-India: CECPA to provide platform to address any barriers in trade

The third round on the resumption of discussions between Mauritius and India on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) was launched this morning at Le Meriden Hotel in Pointe aux Piments. The conclusion of the CECPA will move the commercial relations between both countries to a higher level and provide a platform to address any barriers in trade.

Both India and Mauritius are willing to finalise a Joint Study Report which will set the basis and the parameters for the negotiations to take place and enable the start of negotiations on two different chapters which are trade in goods and trade in services. The CECPA has four pillars which form the basis of negotiations, namely trade in goods, trade in services, investment and economic cooperation.

In her opening remarks, the Head of the Mauritian delegation, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs (SFA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Ambassador Mrs U. C. Dwarka Canabady, said that from our perspective, CECPA is going to be the most important instrument for Mauritius to work with the developing and the developed world. In some way, the CECPA is going to be responding to the aspirations of the people who in recent years have lost businesses, she pointed out.

According to the SFA, beyond the agreement on trade in goods and trade in services the latter which is of high interest to Mauritius, we do not see ourselves in any way as challenging India on services as India is far too gigantic. However, we see small in-roads that will help us build a financial services centre that is strong and capable and we see more cooperation with India in that area. More importantly, in CECPA, we see economic cooperation which might take a little longer to finalise and how this economic cooperation will respond to expectations, she added.

For his part, the Head of the Indian delegation, Mr Manoj Dwivedi, Joint Secretary (Africa/Wana) Department of Commerce, recalled that India and Mauritius are from the same blood and DNA and therefore it should not be difficult to reach a win-win agreement for the two countries and one which is mutually beneficial for both economies. So far in the discussions we have had on the Joint Study Report and the way forward there has been no difference of opinions or any kind of conflict which has stopped us from moving ahead, he remarked.

Moreover, the Joint Secretary added that the present meeting is quite important because India has witnessed a lot of reforms at a fast pace during the past two years or so, and in the last decade or so, Mauritius has also gone through many reforms and changes. The kind of market access that we already have with Mauritius is definitely very encouraging, he added.

The three-day discussions, is taking stock of the 2nd Meeting which was held in India and final discussions on the Joint Study Report. The work agenda comprises: consultations on Trade in Goods and Services including sub working groups on sanitary-phytosanitary measures; technical barriers to trade and rules of origin as well as the way forward.

Negotiations of the CECPA got stalled in 2006 and negotiations started following the visit of the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in Mauritius in 2015.

Source: Government of Mauritius