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1 Sep 2023 • Business Facilitation • Conference

Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement spurs Robust Export Growth and Economic Cooperation

Mauritian exports are poised for substantial growth in 2023, projecting a remarkable 7.8% increase compared to the previous year, driven significantly by the Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This landmark trade agreement has paved the way for a surge in exports, with a notable uptick in the issuance of certificates of origin. The following was highlighted during the Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Cooperation Forum convened on August 31, 2023, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Balaclava.

This event brought together delegations from both nations. It showcased participation from 35 prominent Chinese companies and was attended by approximately 50 high-ranking Chinese officials. China, a pivotal market for Mauritian exports, witnessed trade figures reaching Rs 78.8 billion in 2019, with expectations soaring to Rs 110 billion for the current year.

These promising numbers signify a remarkable 7.8% growth compared to 2022, as mentioned by the Honourable Dr. Renganaden Padayachy, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, and Development. The minister added that since the inception of the free trade agreement between the two nations, an impressive tally of 302 certificates of origin has been issued, contributing to exports exceeding Rs 750 million. This agreement grants Mauritian companies the privilege to export 8,227 products to China without incurring customs duties.

Honourable Maneesh Gobin, in his inaugural role as Minister of Foreign Affairs, emphasized Mauritius’s strategic positioning as a natural gateway for investors seeking access to the African market, bridging the realms of Asia and Africa. He underscored the significance of the Mauritius-China Trade Agreement in augmenting commercial cooperation.

mauritius china FTA forum
In the words of His Excellency, Zhu Liying, the Chinese Ambassador to Mauritius, “All the necessary conditions are in place to attract Chinese investments to Mauritius and foster innovative projects. Mauritius, nestled in a pivotal geographic location, can serve as a trade hub connecting China-Asia and Africa.” Ambassador Liying also expressed interest in promoting Mauritian specialty sugars, renowned for their health benefits, among Chinese consumers, particularly those with health concerns.
mauritius china FTA forum
mauritius china FTA forum
Mr. Hemraj Ramnial, Chairman of the Economic Development Board (EDB), put emphasis on how the FTA lays a solid foundation for robust economic ties, propelling Mauritius and China towards deeper collaboration, economic growth, and capacity building. Mr Ramnial highlighted the EDB’s commitment to this cause, evidenced by the establishment of its representative office in Shanghai, facilitating information sharing and business expansion with China.

In June 2023, the EDB spearheaded a Mauritian delegation’s participation in the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo held in Changsha. The chairman emphasized that this event underscored the EDB’s dedication to nurturing strong partnerships, promoting Mauritian products such as rum, tea, and specialty sugars, and showcasing the nation’s rich cultural heritage and craftsmanship.

The next meeting of the Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Cooperation Forum will take place in Beijing.

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