A Chinese delegation led by the Vice Minister of Commerce, Mr Qian Keming, comprising of the Vice President of Exim Bank, Mr Xie Ping, and the Chinese Ambassador to Mauritius, Mr Li Li, had a working session today with their Mauritian counterparts at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis. The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo.
The Vice Minister of Commerce, Mr Qian Keming, highlighted the long standing relationship that both countries share and expressed his interest for further collaboration and cooperation. He emphasised that under the Belt and Road Initiative, Mauritius is called upon to play a strategic role to link China with Africa for forthcoming grand projects.
He further stressed for deeper cooperation between Mauritius and China in the fields of aviation, tourism, trade, financial services and agriculture. He recalled that China has already helped Mauritius in implementing various important projects and will continue to do so, like in the timely setting up of the MultiSport Complex in Saint Pierre for the 2019 Indian Ocean Games.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo, emphasised that the visit of the Chinese delegation following his recent visit to Beijing last week, clearly indicates that both countries are committed to help each other in strengthening and consolidating existing relations while moving to new sectors of development and avenues of cooperation.
He announced that Mauritius is currently working towards the signing of a Trilateral Agreement with SADC, COMESA and EAC, which will open up markets to 26 African countries and a potential of 600 million costumers/buyers and numerous enterprises. Mauritius with the help of China can achieve a win-win situation for all concerned parties in various sectors such as trade, tourism and many others, he added.
Minister Luthmeenaraidoo also requested the collaboration of China in the field of health tourism by asking for an antenna of the Chinese Institute of Traditional Medicine to be set up in Mauritius. He further asked for professional development courses for those in the construction industry particularly for masons, plumbers and electricians. He added that Mauritius will seek the help of China for the projects of Ring Road Phase Two and for the building of a dam at Rivière des Anguilles.
The working session was followed by the signing of Agreements between both parties on the following:
· Exchange Note to carry out feasibility study for the Civil Aviation Academy;
· Joint Feasibility on a possible Free Trade Agreement between both Countries; and
· New Grant Agreement to the tune of RMB 100 Million.
After the working session and signature of Agreements, the Chinese delegation led by the Vice Minister of Commerce, Mr Qian Keming, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo, paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Jugnauth, at the New Treasury Building.