The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade had working session yesterday with a high-level delegation from the Chinese government in a view to engage China in the Mauritius Africa Strategy, so as to explore new avenues of cooperation.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo, underscored that the Mauritius-China relations facilitates and encourages the implementation of ambitious initiatives to materialise the common interests of both countries. The Chinese government delegation was headed by Mr. Xu Jinghu, Special Representative of the Chinese Government on African Affairs.
The Foreign Minister highlighted that with Major economic cooperation projects in the pipeline, Mauritius and China are considering the establishment of a Free Trade Area. He pointed out that new avenues can be explored from the perspective of the African market.
Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo emphasied that Chinese companies will be able to use the free port facilities in Mauritius as a basis for adding value to their products and re-export them under favorable conditions to those countries and can rely on Mauritius' membership of organisations such as COMESA, SADC, IOC and possibly the Tripartite Trade Zone (COMESA, SADC, East African Community) to reach markets The countries of Southern Africa and East Africa, a huge market of some 650 million consumers, he said.
China can play a crucial role in the Mauritian strategy of setting up Special Economic Zones in targeted countries such as Ghana, Senegal and Madagascar. Chinese investors will find in the package of instruments that Mauritius proposes such as government-to-government agreements, as a very attractive possibility to mobilise investments in these new economic poles.
Chinese investors are encouraged to use the Mauritius financial center for their African operations. This trend is gaining momentum. The Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated his wish that the Bank of China in Mauritius uses the Mauritian jurisdiction as a clearing house of transactions in Renminbi on the African continent.