Joint Working Group will meet on July 23

Realising that time had come to diversify commercial exchanges and exploit the full potential of trade and economic partnership, India and Mauritius have decided to fast-track the negotiations for sealing a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).

The Joint Working Group of India and Mauritius would be meeting on July 23 in New Delhi to explore co-operation in textiles, clothing industry, technology transfer and fashion industry.

This decision was taken at a meeting between the Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma, and Mauritius Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Arvin Bolle, during the bilateral talks here on Friday.

Both sides felt that it was time to put the PTA negotiations on fast-track as this would lead to enhanced trade and result in both sides reducing duties on a certain category of products.

Talking to reporters here, Mr. Arvin Bolle said his country was ready to conclude the PTA negotiations at the earliest, and all efforts would be made in that direction. “I am glad to say that we will move the process forward with respect to discussion on free trade agreement, and later on to comprehensive economic partnership agreement,” he said.

Mr. Sharma said huge opportunities existed for co-operation in sectors such as agro-processing, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, seafood, automobile parts, tourism and IT. Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $1.39 billion in 2011.

Besides petroleum products, India exports cotton, pharmaceuticals, cereals, carpets, electrical machinery and apparel to the island nation. India is also a major supplier of cotton to Mauritius’ textile industry. Imports include iron and steel, optical, photographic and precision instruments and aluminium articles.

Mauritius is the largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into India. The FDI inflows from Mauritius stood at 464.80 billion.

Indian investment in Mauritius amount to about $14.332 billion.