Statements Statements

Business Interaction with the delegation of the Indian Chamber of Commerce

Business Interaction with the delegation

of the Indian Chamber of Commerce

10 April 2019

Dr. Rajeev Singh, Director General, Indian Chamber of Commerce,

Mr. Roopen Roy, Leader of the Indian Business delegation,

Mr. P. V. Rao, CEO of State Bank of Mauritius,

Distinguished Members of the delegation and our Mauritian friends,

A very warm welcome to all of you.

This is the first business delegation from India to Mauritius this year. Also the first since I have joined this Mission. Therefore I am, especially happy to welcome you.

I have looked at the profiles of some of the members of this delegation and the range of sectors that you represent is very encouraging.

Perhaps some of you may have already engaged with Mauritius.

As you know, Mauritius is a Middle Income Economy with a reasonably good standard of living. The education, healthcare and infrastructure sectors are good.

Mauritius is a stable polity with consistently growing economy. Even though the size of economy itself may be relatively small but Mauritius has shown dynamism in pursuing economic opportunities.

Over the past five decades as an independent country, it has evolved from a primarily sugar exporting economy to diversify into a textile manufacturing base along with a popular high-end tourism destination. It then developed as a hub of financial services and has also diversified into the IT sector over the years.

So, the Mauritian economy has kept on reinventing itself overcoming the constraints of geography and the small size of the economy. It is now making serious efforts to leverage its membership of the African Union by setting up Special Economic Zones both in the English speaking and the French speaking African partner countries. In the last three months, they have hosted the leaders of Mozambique, Madagascar and now the Kenyan President, who is in town. It has special trading arrangements with the regional economic groupings in Africa. Mauritius ranks among the top African economies in terms of Ease of Doing Business.

There are a large number of big Indian PSUs that have been active in Mauritius for several decades, for instance, in banking, insurance, petroleum retail, telecom, construction, consultancy and so on. Some of them are represented here this evening. All these companies have done well and have a good name in Mauritius. There are other Indian private companies who have engaged in sectors of hospitality & healthcare and pharmaceutical and other sectors.

There are a number of opportunities for Indian businesses in Mauritius itself and also as a gateway to Africa. Mauritius has a very large EEZ and is actively promoting its potential as a large Ocean Economy. Mauritius is also looking for diversifying into high-technology sectors.

There is specific interest among the leadership here in wellness sector which they can combine with hospitality industry. In education sector there are opportunities, with most students opting to go to America and UK universities presently.

I understand that there can be opportunities in catering to the various requirements of the large Indian diaspora for Indians, for instance, in the food processing sector.

Mauritius offers several incentives with regard to its use as a gateway to Africa. I am sure your interaction with EDB tomorrow will inform you about the specific opportunities and incentives which are definitely worth exploring seriously.

India and Mauritius are also working actively to finalise the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA), which is expected to be finalized in the coming months.

India is also partnering Mauritius in a number of projects for instance the Metro Express project and the construction of several other important landmarks.

Over the years, our strong diaspora, cultural and civilizational links are now diversifying into a proper economic engagement. Earlier this year, the Prime Minister of Mauritius formally inaugurated a branch of the wholly owned subsidiary of State Bank of Mauritius in Mumbai, among first such entities approved by the RBI.

Given our close links with Mauritius, our long standing business presence, our mutual interest in tapping the African market, all point towards the significant potential of India-Mauritius business linkages.

I wish you fruitful discussions and hope that your visit will contribute to the India-Mauritius business engagement for mutual benefit.

Thank you.

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