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Cabinet to soon consider India-Mauritius free trade agreement for approval

The Cabinet will soon consider the proposed India-Mauritius free trade agreement, aimed at liberalising norms to boost two-way commerce and investments, for approval, an official said. In a free trade agreement, two trading partners cut or eliminate duties on majority of goods besides liberalising norms to promote services trade and boost investments. “The Cabinet would soon take up the agreement for its consideration. After its approval, a date would be finalised for signing of the agreement, after which it will be implemented,” the official said.

India and Mauritius have been negotiating the pact, officially dubbed as the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA), since 2005. According to experts, India may not get huge benefit in goods sector as Mauritius is a small market, but services sectors such as IT and tourism hold huge potential to enhance economic ties. Mauritius was the second top source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into India in 2018-19. India received USD 8 billion (about Rs 56,000 crore) foreign inflows from the country. The bilateral trade between the countries increased marginally to USD 1.2 billion in 2018-19 from USD 1.1 billion in 2017-18.

India exports petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, cereals, cotton and electrical machinery, apparel and clothing accessories to Mauritius. The island nation’s exports to New Delhi include iron and steel, pearls, precious/semi-precious stones and optical, photographic and precision instruments.