Mauritius can be gateway for Indian companies to 70% of world consumer market

“India and Mauritius have recently completed 75 years of diplomatic relations. To mark this occasion, we have brought a 21-company trade delegation to explore new areas of economic collaboration, technology exchange and joint ventures. Mauritius is also developing a dedicated special economic zone (SEZ) for Indian companies. I invite Indian investors and real estate developers to develop the zone and strengthen our economic ties. The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) with Mauritius is the first trade agreement signed by India with any African country. I wish to work with WTC Mumbai and All India Association of Industries (AIAI) to take our bilateral economic relations to a new level under the General Economic Cooperation chapter, which is recently added in the CECPA. Both the countries have tremendous scope to partner in emerging areas such as green energy, medical devices, bio-tech, fintech, artificial intelligence, hi-tech manufacturing and technical textile,” said Mr. Arvind Radhakrishna, Strategic Advisor to Economic Development Board of Mauritius at an interactive meeting. The meeting was organized jointly by WTC Mumbai and All India Association of Industries (AIAI).

Highlighting the investment attractiveness of Mauritius, Mr. Radhakrishna added, “Mauritius has signed investment protection agreement with 44 countries and double taxation avoidance agreement with 21 African countries. A foreign investor can register a company in Mauritius in one day; the corporate tax in Mauritius is low at 15%. Mauritius is ranked number one in doing business in Africa and number 13 globally by World Bank Ease of Doing Business. Mauritius has preferential market access to 70% of world consumer market as it has signed trade agreements with Africa, USA, European Union, China, UK, Turkey and other countries.”

Mr. Radhakrishna led a 21-company trade delegation from Mauritius to India to explore trade, investment and technology cooperation across diverse manufacturing and service sectors.

In his remarks, Mr. Seewraj Nundlall, Counsellor (Investment & Trade), Consulate General of the Republic of Mauritius gave an overview of the bilateral relations. He informed, “Today, more than 100 Indian companies have invested significantly in Mauritius in sectors such as financial services, banking, non-banking, healthcare, hospitality, education, logistics, ICT and so on. India is the second largest source of import, accounting for 10% of total import of Mauritius. Mauritius total exports to India grew from USD 16 million in 2010 to USD 56 million by 2022. Around 90% of the over USD 70 billion Indian investment in Africa is routed through Mauritius. State Bank of Mauritius is the only foreign bank to receive RBI license to operate as wholly owned subsidiary in India.”

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Dr. Vijay Kalantri, Chairman, MVIRDC WTC Mumbai pointed out, “India is a committed development partner of Mauritius as it has implemented several infrastructure projects, including Metro Express and ENT Hospital in Mauritius. Mauritius banks have opened vostro account to facilitate trade settlement in local currencies. To take this relationship forward, WTC Mumbai and AIAI can set up a task force and a trade facilitation center jointly with the Economic Development Board of Mauritius to develop our economic relations. We are also planning to lead a business delegation of 20 members to Mauritius by October 2023.”

Highlighting the past initiatives of WTC Mumbai to promote bilateral relations, Dr. Kalantri remarked, “In the past, WTC Mumbai and AIAI have taken two business delegations to Mauritius and organized ‘Made in India’ exhibitions in that country to promote bilateral trade. Earlier, AIAI was instrumental in negotiating with the former Prime Minister of Mauritius Mr. P Navin Ramgoolam for allocating land for Maharashtra Sadan in that country. We have hosted several high level in-bound business delegations from Mauritius, including the former Prime Ministers and Agriculture Ministers of Mauritius.”

Dr. Kalantri pointed out that the current level of bilateral trade, which is around USD 500 million, is below the true potential. Indian companies can set up manufacturing unit in Mauritius and export to Africa and other countries. Both the countries can also explore business in emerging areas such as renewable energy, biotechnology, hi-tech manufacturing and blue economy.

Ms. Rupa Naik, Executive Director, MVIRDC WTC Mumbai proposed vote of thanks for the event.

The session was followed by around 100 B2B meetings, which will lead to joint venture, technology collaboration, trade and investment between the business delegation from Mauritius and their Indian counterparts. The delegation members represent diverse sectors such as digital printing, agro and food processing, real estate, consultancy, textile, gems & jewellery, logistics, CNC machining and so on.