GIS - June 07, 2012: A meeting with European Union (EU) ambassadors accredited to Mauritius focusing on several important bilateral and cooperation issues was held today in Port Louis under the chairmanship of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Dr Arvin Boolell.
The meeting gave an opportunity to the various parties to exchange information and put across views, through an interactive session, since Europe is a traditional and reliable partner of Mauritius.
Discussions focused mainly on: the Government programme 2012-2015, the political situation in Mauritius, electoral reform, fight against piracy and promotion of maritime security, the extended continental shelf, EU-Mauritius development cooperation, and trade relations and the economic partnership agreement.
In his opening address, the Minister Boolell, said that Government has come up with a new programme that highlights its policies in light of changes taking place at an incredible pace on the international scene and more so with the Euro zone crisis impacting on the world economy.
‘We had clear objectives to increase our income per capita from 7500 USD to 15000 USD up to 2020 and we have had to reassess the economic situation. This is indeed a daunting task and the challenges are daunting but not impossible. Mauritius is at its very best when it has to face adversity, not that we like to face adversity, but we need to have a new mindset’, he stressed.
Dr Boolell highlighted the necessity to deepen the democratic institutions in principles and in operations. ‘We need to have a fresh look at our electoral system as it stands and seriously look into ushering a new electoral system that is very reflective to meet the needs of our people where there is the element of fairness and fair representation’, he added.
For his part, the Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation, Mr Alessandro Mariani, congratulated Government for the economic results that have been achieved by Mauritius in the last few years which, he said, are indeed very positive particularly in the light of the major international economic crisis. This strong resilience was the result of the ambitious programme of reforms implemented with determination by Mauritius and of a very good dialogue between the Government and the private sector, observed the Ambassador.
On the Government Programme, Mr Mariani, stated that it presents a high degree of continuity with the economic programme carried out so far. Obviously like all programmes, he said, the actual test would be in its implementation and perhaps to add even more value to the programme it could be eventually complemented by a roadmap which would allow the timeframe and the costs of the proposed actions.