On Friday, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth met Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. This his first visit aboard as the PM of Mauritius.
He will also meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi later in the day.
In the meetings, leaders of the two countries discussed a number of issues including bilateral relations, security cooperation, maritime security, counter-terrorism, a Home Ministry official quoted.
Mauritius happens to be a major source of foreign direct investment to India and Jugnauth urged Indian businesses to take advantage of the country’s strategic location. It provides an easy access to invest in special economic zones and pharmaceutical industry of Mauritius.
He described Mauritius as “a home away from home” for Indians, and said that the partnership with India is likely to be cemented through the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA), which is taking shape.
“The CECPA will provide the opportunities for even greater flow of trade in goods and services as well as improve cross-border investments between our two countries,” Jugnauth said while addressing the industry chambers on Friday.
Dnyaneshwar M Mulay, Secretary, Overseas Indian Affairs in the Ministry of External Affairs, said that both the countries are pursuing the CECPA to help address the balance of trade and enhance trading between India and Mauritius. The balance of payments currently happens to be in India’s favour.
He said the draft of the CECPA is likely to be ready in mid-2017 with an expected conclusion by the end of the year.
India exports petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, cereals, cotton and electrical machinery, among others, to the island nation.
Mauritius’ exports to India include iron and steel, pearls and precious and semi-precious stones.
Earlier in March this year, Modi had visited the island nation as Chief Guest at the Mauritian National Day celebrations.