GIS - August 27, 2012: An interactive public-private sector meeting focusing on key trade issues was held on 24 August 2012 in the Lunch Room of the National Assembly in Port Louis.
The objective of the meeting, chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Dr Arvin Boolell, was to enable all stakeholders to share views and thoughts on the way forward regarding trade.
Discussions centred mainly on: AGOA Third Country Fabric Provision; Rules of Origin for canned tuna in the context of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA); Mauritius-Russia Memorandum of Understanding on Fisheries and Fisheries products; Export of Seafood to South Africa; and, Implementation of the interim EPA and Strategy for a full EPA.
In his address, Minister Boolell observed that public and private operators are all on board together and have also to serve the wider interest, especially the people who are desperately trying to make out a living working in textiles, garment and tuna manufacturing factories. ‘There are many issues that need to be addressed and as long as we cluster our strengths, strategise, pre-empt, and we are proactive, I am sure that we will be able to address some of the daunting challenges’, he emphasised.
For the Minister, in the wider context, AGOA is a great opportunity for manufacturers exporting to the US, adding there is the possibility of exporting more than 6 400 products. ‘We are now looking at the interest of Mauritius on the regional front. Against a backdrop of financial and economic difficulties for a small country like ours which has to be outward looking, we need to constantly create the enabling environment to attract investment to encourage people to invest in existing sectors and also to look into emerging sectors such as the blue economy’, he stated.
On the three-day Mauritius-India Joint Working Group meeting on the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention held in Mauritius from 22 to 24 August 2012, the Minister said that discussions went on well. What is good is that India has the opportunity to strategise with Mauritius and make the country become a big financial centre, with India using Mauritius as platform to go in the region. It is in the interest of both countries to address each other’s concerns, he added.