The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Mr Alan Ganoo, participated virtually, this evening, in the first panel of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Private sector forum, "AGOA and beyond", from Port Louis.
Other participants of the Forum, organised by the Corporate Council for Africa, include the Minister of Trade of the Republic of Ghana, Mr Alan Kyerematen, the CEO of Rwanda Development Board, Mrs Clare Akamanzi, and Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development, Republic of Kenya, Mrs Betty Maina.
It is recalled that Minister Alan Ganoo will lead the Mauritian delegation to the AGOA Ministerial Forum scheduled for 20 and 21 October 2021.
In a statement, the Foreign Affairs Minister underlined the key role of the AGOA for Mauritius in terms of trade, while indicating that exportations to the US under the Agreement amount to Rs 7 billion per year. He emphasised that, in the country's interest, it is thus crucial to think of other Mauritius-US trade partnerships after the expiration of the AGOA in 2025.
Speaking about the Forum, Minister Ganoo highlighted that discussions focused on the future of the AGOA as well as the measures that are to be taken for Africa to tap into the maximum opportunities being offered under it.
He further stated that the investment relationship in terms of trade agreements beyond the current September 2025 expiration of the AGOA was also brought forth during the discussions.
Emphasis was laid on the need to diversify African exports, and to carry out sensitisation and promotion campaigns so that African countries can make the best use of the existing opportunities for the three remaining years, informed Mr Ganoo.
We also urged American business operators to invest in Africa through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and to use Mauritius as a springboard for investment, he said.
He added that Mauritius proposed for the renewal of the AGOA after 2025 and also discussed the possibility of setting up a Free Trade Agreement with the US.