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Proposed FTA Can Enhance India's African Presence

Aug 28, 2019

An interactive programme on the "Ease of Doing Business in Mauritius" was organised by World Trade Center Mumbai and the All India Association of Industries. Ms. Bineshwaree Napaul, Consul General, Consulate General of Mauritius said, “The proposed free trade agreement between India and Mauritius can enhance India’s presence in these markets”.

Ms. Napaul said, “We have undertaken setting up of permanent Joint Commissions with Ethopia, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, amongst others and signed Double Taxation Avoidance treaties, Investment Promotion and Protection agreements, and bilateral Air Service and Maritime agreements to enhance air and sea connectivity. We have also developed Special Economic Zones in Senegal, Ghana, Mozambique and Côte d’Ivoire to tap business opportunities and explore avenues of cooperation.”

Ms. Napaul expressed pleasure that SBM Bank India has been permitted by the RBI to commence operations as a full-fledged universal bank in India via the wholly-owned subsidiary route since December 2018.

Mr. Seewraj Nundlall, Counsellor (Investment & Trade) - Market Development (Asia Division), Economic Development Board Mauritius, said “Mauritius is a leader in Ease of Doing Business Rankings in Africa and has respectably placed itself at the 20th rank among 190 countries as per the World Bank's Doing Business 2019 Report. I urge the Indian business community to expand its presence to Africa, EU and USA through Mauritius as it has preferential market access in these countries.”

Mr. Nundlall suggested that Mauritius is a conducive place for innovation in the Health Tech, Biotechnology, Fintech, Creative & Media Industry, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics and Digital Industry (Incubators & StartUps) sectors.

Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai said, “India and Mauritius have the potential to double their trade to USD 3 billion in the next three years from today’s USD 1.2 billion. In order to achieve this, the two countries should focus on enhancing trade and investment in the agro, pharma, textile and gems and jewellery sectors”. Mr. Kalantri suggested that Mauritius should earmark one industrial park exclusively for the gems and jewellery sector and other sectors. Mauritius can be a hub for export to the African continent for Indian business community.

In photo:

From (L-R): Ms. Rupa Naik, Mr. Neeraj Sinha, Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Ms. Bineshwaree Napaul, Mr. Seewraj Nundlall, and Dr. Shrikant Kamat.