GIS – 29 January, 2019: A three-day national workshop on Trade in Services kick-started, this morning, at the Hennessy Park Hotel, Ebène. It is being organised by the International Trade Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, jointly with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Secretariat.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr J. P. Rangan, and other personalities were present at the opening ceremony.
Some 40 participants from public and private bodies are attending the workshop which is being conducted by Mr Jelito Markus and Mr Magdeleine Joscelyn, both counsellors at the WTO Secretariat. Issues pertaining to trade in services negotiations such as domestic regulation, services classification, and preferential trade agreements are also being covered.
In his address, Mr Rangan highlighted that services, over the years have become the most dynamic segment of trade in the world. In Mauritius, he indicated, services contribute to 75% of the Gross Domestic Product and 67% to employment while adding that growth in this sector is being driven by financial services, tourism, ICT, amongst others.
Besides the key services domains, said the Permanent Secretary, the country is investing more in emerging services sectors, namely, education and wellness industry as well as port services and air transport so as to connect Africa and Asia and make of Mauritius a real hub in the region.
Moreover, Mr Rangan underlined that Mauritius during the course of last year, has been actively involved in trade in services negotiations on various fronts. To this end, he stated that Mauritius has completed negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with China with a view to elevating engagement with Asian trade partners. Also, negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with India is nearing conclusion, he added.
With regard to the workshop, the Permanent Secretary pointed out that it will enable stakeholders to master concepts and have skilful grasp of negotiating techniques as negotiation on trade in services is a highly complex and technically demanding exercise.
As for Mr Jelito Markus from the WTO Secretariat, he underscored that the workshop will provide a platform to share technical expertise on trade in services negotiations. Participants will be introduced to key concepts of the WTO General Agreement on trade in Services, scheduling guidelines for trade in services commitments and recent developments in the WTO trade in services discussions, he added.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://gis.govmu.org