Indian exporters to explore wider opportunities for business with Mauritius

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on October 10, 2021

'Newer possibilities emerging due to free trade pacts'

Indian businesses will get a chance to explore wider prospects of trade and investment opportunities in Mauritius, in the post Covid-19 scenario, during a virtual interaction to be held this week with the Indo-Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and officials from the Consulate of Mauritius in India.

“India and Mauritius have recently entered into a limited free trade agreement covering 310 export items for India, including food and farm products, textile articles, plastics, chemicals and electronic product. There is a huge possibility for Indian businesses and exporters to increase their exports to Mauritius as well as rest of Africa using Mauritius as a gateway. The conference will focus on the wide canvass of opportunities, especially in post-pandemic times,” an official tracking the matter told BusinessLine.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) is organising the business interaction on October 14 in collaboration with the Indo-Mauritius Chamber of Commerce.

“In the last five years, India has been among the leading trading partners of Mauritius. In 2020, India represented 10 per cent of Mauritian total imports and ranked third in their main countries of import. In the recent years, main items of exports of India to Mauritius have been petroleum products, pharmaceuticals and rice. India is also a major supplier of raw materials for the local industry like supplying yarn and fabrics to the textile and clothing industry,” FIEO pointed out in a note.

Pandemic support

New focus areas have also opened up post-pandemic in Mauritius. The priority areas are Covid-19 vaccines, vaccines for immunisation programmes in Africa and preventive vaccines, as per the Mauritian government. “The country is providing a host of incentives such as exemption on registration fees, land transfer taxes and VAT on construction in addition to lower corporate taxes and full tax credit on cost of patent acquisition,” officials have earlier said.

Indian manufacturers and exporters can also use Mauritius as a gateway to export more to the African market which has about 1.3 billion consumers as the island-nation is part of several free trade arrangements with the region including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which has been implement from January 1, 2021.

“Indian businesses can get into certain arrangements with their Mauritian counterparts wherein the essential part of the production of a particular commodity can take place in India, while some value addition can happen in Mauritius and the final product can then be exported to a number of countries across Africa,” the official explained.

India’s trade with Mauritius took a hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic with exports falling to $423 million in 2020-21 from $1.07 billion in 2018-19.

Published on October 10, 2021

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