Dr Drishtysingh Ramdenee, the Secretary General of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), made a presentation at the Mauritius – China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Cooperation Forum on Thursday 31 August 2023. This event was held in the margin of the inaugural China FTA Joint Commission and was jointly hosted by the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Mauritius and the Economic Development Board of Mauritius (EDB).
Attendees included Mr. Hemraj Ramnial, Chairman of the EDB, and Mr. Han Yong, Director of the Department of World Trade Organisation (WTO) Affairs, Ministry of Commerce of China, H.E. Mr. Zhu Liying, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic to Mauritius, the Honourable Maneesh Gobin, Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade and Dr the Honourable Renganaden Padayachy, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development of Mauritius, amongst others.
The forum’s agenda comprised presentations, notably on the highlights of the Mauritius-China FTA, on investment incentives for overseas investors and industrial policies in Mauritius, alongside a presentation on the financial services sector. Dr Drishtysingh Ramdenee's presentation focused not only on potential business opportunities through the Mauritius-China FTA but also on the MCCI's role in fostering private sector perspectives and leveraging its cooperation network.
The trade of goods and services and investment possibilities were highlighted, with over 7,000 Mauritian products enjoying duty-free access on the Chinese market. Opportunities spanning diverse sectors including trade in services and export potential were also discussed, as well as the elaboration of a China-Africa strategy through Mauritius, especially by leveraging other agreements signed by Mauritius, including the AfCFTA.
Furthermore, Dr Ramdenee recalled the longstanding relationship of the MCCI with its Chinese counterparts. Indeed, the MCCI has established a Joint Business Council (JBC) with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in 1997. The JBC is a vital tool for fostering trade and economic cooperation, attaining key objectives such as promoting bilateral trade, addressing business transaction bottlenecks, and capitalising on the novel prospects under the new China-Mauritius FTA.
Of note, the Mauritius-China FTA Cooperation Forum was held within the margins of the first Mauritius-China FTA Joint Commission and aims at ensuring the effective operation and implementation of the Agreement which was signed on 17 October 2019 in Beijing, and came into force on 1 January 2021.