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      Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement

      Image Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement

      A national sensitization workshop entitled “Shaping Future Economic Perspectives” was held from 01 – 02 March 2021 at Le Méridien Hotel in Pointe aux Piments. The workshop was organised by the Economic Development Board (EDB), under the aegis of the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

      Day One of the workshop focussed on trade in goods and was officially launched by the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr the Honourable Renganaden Padayachy. Minister Padayachy underlined the privileged cultural, political and economic ties that bond Mauritius and China.

      Day Two of the workshop focussed on trade in services and was launched by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Honourable Alan Ganoo. According to Minister Ganoo, the Mauritius-China FTA represents “a new dawn for businesses in Mauritius, especially in a world where economies and societies have been crippled by the adverse impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

      An agreement that brings predictability

      “The FTA is a high-quality agreement which will bring many tangible benefits to enterprises both in Mauritius and China. In these volatile times, it provides Mauritian and Chinese businesses the predictability and certainty they need to find and access new growth opportunities”, explained the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

      Honourable Alan Ganoo added that “China has been amongst our staunchest allies in our development path”.

      New opportunities

      Minister Ganoo covered some of the main sectors of the Schedule of Specific Commitments of China to Mauritius (i.e. China’s offer to Mauritius for trade in services). He highlighted that since 01 January 2021, Mauritian service providers can establish businesses in China as wholly owned entities or in joint partnership with Chinese operators in sectors such as architecture, engineering, integrated engineering, medical and dental, translation and travel agencies/tour operators.

      On the other hand, His Excellency Mr Sun Gongyi, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China stated that the Mauritius-China FTA “est le premier accord de libre échange entre la Chine et un pays africain. C’est un accord mutuellement bénéfique qui servira de plateforme pour la cooperation économique Chine-Afrique”.

      EDB’s key role to make the FTA deliver

      The national sensitization workshop on the Mauritius-China FTA included a series of presentations and panel discussions. Relevant subjects which were discussed are the new opportunities for businesses, the rules of origin under the FTA, the modes of supply of services and Mauritius as an Renminbi (Chinese currency) Clearing Hub.

      The chief negotiator of the Mauritius-China FTA, Mr N Boodhoo – Director-Trade Policy – highlighted that “no agreement delivers by itself”. He laid emphasis on the “key role” to be played by the EDB in collaboration with operators “to make the FTA deliver”.

      The Chief Executive Officer of the EDB, Mr K Poonoosamy pointed out that the EDB “va tout mettre en place pour opérationaliser l’accord de libre échange avec la Chine qui, avec l’African Continental FTA, le UK-ESA EPA et le CECPA avec l’Inde, permet à Maurice d’avoir un accès preferential à 70% du marché mondial”.

      It is to be noted that since the entry into force of the Mauritius-China FTA, garments, beer and rum have been exported from Mauritius to China under the agreement.

      Trade Policy Unit
      International Trade Division
      Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade
      03 March 2021

      Sources : ITD

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