GIS – 20 November 2018: Two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were signed yesterday, at the second edition of the Mauritius-Russia Investment and Trade forum between the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Lipetsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the seat of the EDB in Port Louis, in presence of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Leslie Collendavelloo.
The signatories were the Chairman of the EDB, Mr Charles Cartier, the President of Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Platonov Vladimir, and the President of Lipetsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Anatolii Goltcov.
In his address, Deputy Prime Minister Collendavelloo highlighted that this year marks the 50th year of diplomatic relations between Mauritius and Russia adding that both countries have shared longstanding bilateral relations by cooperating in the field of education and technical fields of Science. Mauritius, he said, based on the concept of live, work and play is a business destination providing a plethora of services in various sectors and therefore Russian businessmen and investors are invited to apprise themselves on investment opportunities and use the country as a platform for African markets.
He further emphasised that Government envisions responding to the requirements and needs of investors while adding that necessary steps are being undertaken to increase air connectivity so as to position Mauritius as a bridge between Africa. On this score, he commended the efforts of the EDB which is acting as a one stop-shop promoting Mauritius as an attractive investment and business centre and looks forward for more Russian investors to take advantage of the business opportunities in the country.
For his part, the Chairman of the EDB, Mr Cartier stated that Government through modern seaport and air cargo terminal, is intensifying efforts to upgrading infrastructure in the country adding that Russia can therefore use Mauritius as regional headquarters to structure investments targeted at the African Continent.
Moreover, he highlighted that last year, Mauritius’ imports from Russia amounted to $11.4 million with top three imports being precious/semi-precious stones; petroleum gases, and vodka. He further underlined that exports from Mauritius to Russia amounted to $2.1 million in 2017 with the exports of tuna, special sugar and t-shirts. In terms of Foreign Direct Investment, Mauritius registered $ 3.9 million of Foreign Direct Investment from Russia in 2017, he added.
Speaking on behalf of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Mauritius (RFRM), Mr Denis Karmlaskiy, the First Secretary of the RFRM, pointed out that both countries share friendly and mutually beneficial relations and spoke of the Russia-Africa Summit which is a first, scheduled in Moscow in 2019.
The competitive advantages of Mauritius, he said, are its membership with regional African integration unions such as Southern African Development Community, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and Eastern African Community and the presence of a developed system of agreements with African states on double taxation avoidance and on the promotion and mutual protection of investments as well as jointly administered economic zones with Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Madagascar.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Mauritius to the Russian Federation, Mr Maheshwarsingh Khemloliva, and other eminent personalities were present on the occasion.
It is to be noted that in the context of the second edition of the Mauritius-Russia Investment and Trade forum, a 25-member delegation from Russia is on an official visit to Mauritius from 19th to 21st November 2018 with the objective to exploring trade and investment opportunities.