GIS - 09 December, 2016: A financing agreement amounting to Euro 2 million, which is approximately Rs 80 million, for Technical Cooperation Facility under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) was signed yesterday between the European Union and the Republic of Mauritius in Port Louis.
The signatories were the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Jugnauth and the Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Mauritius, Mrs Marjaana Sall.
The funding under the Technical Cooperation Facility forms part of the financial envelope of Euro 9.9 million which Mauritius has received under the 11th EDF and will run until 2020 to finance technical assistance and capacity building in the Tertiary Education Sectors, Research and Innovation and in the implementation of the Government Programme. The remaining Euro 7.9 million have been earmarked for projects in the polytechnics sector and nanotechnology, amongst others.
In his address, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Jugnauth, stressed on the strong cooperation between the EU and Mauritius while adding that the EU has always been a prominent development partner for Mauritius. He expressed the wish that this privileged collaboration and longstanding relationship will be maintained even after the expiration of the Cotonou Agreement in February 2020.
He also expressed his appreciation regarding the support of the EU with focus on the new challenges that Mauritius is facing in relation to the implementation of reform programmes and on removing barriers to our development goals. According to him, the financing agreement for Technical Cooperation Facility deems crucial to the future development of Mauritius particularly to the new era of development that the country wants to usher.
He further highlighted that most countries that have successfully graduated from a middle-income to a high income economy have done so by becoming high value-added services economy and by investing smartly in innovation. Hence, the Technical Cooperation Facility will complement the resources that are already being invested in these sectors, he added.
Minister Pravind Jugnauth recalled his recent mission to Brussels in October this year whereby he discussed with the Director at the Directorate General for Trade of the EU Commission, Mrs Sandra Gallina, about the implementation of the development cooperation chapter of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA), and the need to expedite the signing of the relevant financial agreement regarding the envelope earmarked for the 4 iEPA countries under the 11th EDF programme.
Following his meeting, the EU has already approved a grant of Euro 7 million which is about Rs 280 million under that programme to Mauritius. The grant will be used to put in place an electronic platform to improve the ease of doing business and the investment climate in Mauritius. Moreover, the project proposal on climate smart agriculture to the tune of Euro 3 million under the Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) window has also been endorsed.
For her part, the Head of the Delegation of European Union in Mauritius, Mrs Marjaana Sall, reiterated the continuous support of the EU to Mauritius. According to her, the Technical Cooperation Facility is the first initiative to be approved in the framework of the 11th EDF National Indicative Programme which will support Government to finalise its Vision 2030 aimed at transforming Mauritius into a High Income Country.
The EU-Mauritius partnership covers a wide range of policy areas, including: maritime security, trade and investment opportunities, environmental protection, climate change mitigation, migration and culture.
The 11th EDF National Indicative Programme signed in June this year, will steer the EU-Mauritius bilateral cooperation until 2020. The objective of this bilateral cooperation, endowed with 9.9 million EUR, is to accompany Mauritius to evolve from an Upper Middle Income to a High income Country in line with Government priorities.
Furthermore, the Government of Mauritius will also be able to use this Facility to finance technical assistance, studies, analytical work, training, seminars, peer to peer learning and knowledge-sharing initiatives.
The Facility will also support Government priorities to improve the human capital base and contribute to unlock growth, target the higher education sector with emphasis on Research and Innovation.
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