The Government of Japan has agreed to provide a grant of 300 million Japanese Yen to Mauritius, under the Japan's Grant Aid "Economic and Social Development Programme", for the procurement of medical equipment to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and consolidate the health system of Mauritius.
To this effect, a Grant Agreement was signed, yesterday, by the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Mauritius, Mr Yoshiharu Kato. The signing ceremony was held at the seat of the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, in Port-Louis. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, was present.
In his address, Minister Padayachy spoke about the longstanding diplomatic and friendly ties between Mauritius and Japan which were established since 1969. He expressed his gratitude towards Japan for being a strong development partner for Mauritius owing to their continuous unflinching support especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to him, the grant of 300 million Japanese Yen to the Government of Mauritius, is yet another demonstration of the commitment of the Japanese Government to support Mauritius in these testing times.
Dr Padayachy reiterated the commitment of the Republic of Mauritius to further strengthen its strategic partnership with Japan. On this score, he underpinned the interest of the Government to engage with the Japanese authorities for the signing of a General Economic Cooperation Agreement and a Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
For his part, the Minister Bodha, highlighted how Mauritius has managed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic and is now a Covid-free nation. He expressed appreciation towards the friendly countries, in addition to Japan, that have provided support to Mauritius in terms of financial aid and equipment to help Mauritius mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. He also mentioned that besides the 300 million Japanese Yen, Japan is envisaging to grant another 100 million Japanese Yen to Mauritius which is at the stage of approval by the Japanese authorities.
As for Ambassador Kato, he evoked the determination of Japan in promoting universal health coverage and minimising the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which he qualified as a "human security crisis".
He further stated that as the traffic in goods and movement of people became global scale, today, it is of utmost importance that the international society tackle the issue of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ambassador further reiterated Japan's willingness to work collaboratively with the international community in order to overcome the current health crisis.
Japan has set up its Embassy and appointed its first Ambassador in Mauritius in 2017 to consolidate the strong ties and cooperation between the two nations. Since 1969, Mauritius has benefited from the support of Japan in various sectors including maritime security, climate change mitigation, and weather forecasting.
Furthermore, the Government of Japan has extended a grant of 300 million Japanese Yen to Mauritius, last year under its "Economic Social Development Programme", for the purchase of High-Speed Patrol Boats for the National Coast Guard. Mauritius has also benefited extensively from assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Japan has also helped Mauritius in the Project for the Improvement of the Meteorological Radar System. Under this project, the "S-Band Doppler Solid State Radar" was purchased and installed, and a new tower at Trou-aux-Cerfs was constructed for which a non-refundable grant to the tune of up to 1.34 billion Japanese Yen was provided to Mauritius.
Moreover, the Mauritian Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth also inaugurated an office of the Economic Development Board in Tokyo last year to promote trade and investment between the two countries in various sectors. These sectors are: information and communication technology, ocean economy, business process outsourcing, life science, healthcare, tourism, real estate development and financial sector.