Mauritius and Pakistan have expressed the willingness to reinforce bilateral cooperation in several sectors. Both the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo, and the newly appointed High Commissioner of Pakistan to Mauritius, Dr Syed Rizwan Ahmed, met yesterday in Port Louis to discuss the way forward.
In addition to political and economic ties, the two countries wish to bring their peoples together through cultural, culinary and sporting events.
During the meeting, Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo underscored the necessity to bring a new dynamism at the level of Mauritius-Pakistan trade exchanges in the context of the current Preferential Trade Agreement. To that end working committee has been set up to review barriers with a view to coming up with proposals to stimulate trade activities between both countries as well as to address any existing imbalance.
The Minister recalled the importance for a new impetus to trade in services and the tourism sector. Mauritius, he said aspires to play a strategic role between Asia and Africa and, to that end, it can offer several opportunities to Pakistani enterprises which have started or are considering to start activities on the continent. These enterprises by way of the Preferential Trade Agreement, can use Mauritius as gateway to serve SADC and COMESA regional markets.
Discussions also focused on how Mauritius's financial centre can be used by Pakistan as a platform for international investments towards the African continent. Other issues raised relate to cooperation in fields such as healthcare and higher education. Under the Pakistan Technical Assistance Programme, Mauritius has obtained 16 study scholarships in the fields of medicine, pharmaceutics and engineering.
As regards people-to-people ties, both sides have agreed to build on the already solid friendly relations which exist between Mauritius and Pakistan. The Pakistani High Commissioner, Dr Syed Rizwan Ahmed, announced that an international cricket match will be held with the participation of diplomats posted in Mauritius and those countries have a cricket culture, namely India, Pakistan, Australia, United Kingdom, South Africa and Bangladesh.
This symbolical event is scheduled for 13 October 2018 at the Gymkhana Grounds in Vacoas in the context of celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Independence of Mauritius.