The Mauritius Jin Fei Economic Trade and Cooperation Zone is yet another step in further consolidating the friendship between Mauritius and China and is one of the economic zones being established in Africa to strengthen China-Africa economic and trade cooperation, said the Minister of Tourism, Mr Georges Pierre Lesjongard, on Friday 22 November 2019.
The Minister was speaking at the Ground-Breaking ceremony of the Jinfei-Maritim Five-Star Business Apartment Hotel project, held in Riche Terre, Terre Rouge. Several eminent personalities were present, namely the Minister of Labour, Human Resource Development and Training, Mr Soodesh Satkam Callichurn; and the general manager of Mauritius Jinfei Economic Trade and Cooperation Zone Co. Ltd, Mr Yang.
Minister Lesjongard highlighted that the JinFei Smart City Project will not only bring added value to the region of Riche Terre, but will also create jobs for Mauritians and uplift the image of Mauritius. This iconic hotel project, he underpinned, will comprise environmentally friendly measures and will be an "icon" in terms of sustainable development, thereby positioning Mauritius as a sustainable island destination.
Speaking about the privileged relationship between Mauritius and China characterised by profound mutual respect, close cooperation in various economic, social and political areas and strong cultural ties, the Minister stated that this relationship has been reinforced during the last five years. He recalled that China and Mauritius had reached agreement on all issues under the Free Trade Area. The agreement was signed during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Beijing Summit held in September 2018, he indicated.
As China's first Free Trade Area with an African country, the completed China-Mauritius free trade area will not only help further expand the bilateral trade and investment exchanges, but will also inject renewed momentum to the transformation of the relationship between China and Africa, said Mr Lesjongard.
Another milestone in the relationship between the two countries, the Minister pointed out, is the Master plan endorsed by both Mauritian and Chinese Government in 2016 which seeks to promote tourism, education, healthcare, and financial services by harnessing smart technologies. According to him, the establishment of a smart city in Mauritius will boost its position as a strategic link on the belt and road initiative put forward by China.
Acknowledging the major projects implemented with the support and collaboration of the People's Republic of China, Mr Lesjongard rejoiced that they have changed the economic landscape of the country. Mauritius, he added, will continue to rely on China as a privileged partner for future economic development and our air connectivity with China must be further developed to cater for additional visitors.
The Tourism Minister pointed out that there is a need to further promote Mauritius on the China market since, today, China is considered as the world's economic powerhouse and the number one tourism source market. Mauritius, he said, has identified China as one of the targeted markets in its market diversification strategy. In the last budget, government has allocated funds to promote the country on the Chinese market. He stated that the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority is providing for the necessary investment to face the challenge. The collaboration of Jinfei as a partner is further expected to attract some 75,000 Chinese visitors by 2020, he added.
The Jinfei-Maritim Five-Star Business Apartment Hotel
The apartment hotel, to the tune of some Rs 2,6 billion, will be operational in 2022. The structure will comprise two towers of 16 floors each, with a mix of rooms and apartments. The hotel will also consist of two restaurants, five conference halls, and a helipad.