Mauritius: Bilateral Relations - Second Joint Cooperation Commission Session Between Mauritius and Madagascar Convened

The Second Meeting of the Joint Cooperation Commission between the Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of Madagascar was held, yesterday evening, at the Caudan Arts Centre in Port Louis. The session was co-chaired by the Attorney General, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration, and International Trade of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Maneesh Gobin, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Madagascar, Ms Rafaravavitafika Rasata.

According to both Ministers, the session provided a platform for comprehensive discussions encompassing a wide range of bilateral topics, with particular emphasis on strategies to strengthen cultural interactions and drive economic development.

Throughout the discussions, they reaffirmed both nations' dedication to fostering long-term collaboration for the benefit of their respective populations and the shared vision of a prosperous and interconnected future between Mauritius and Madagascar which remains at the forefront of diplomatic endeavors.

Minister Gobin, recalling that Mauritius and Madagascar share a rich history and deep cultural ties, forged over centuries through economic, cultural, and political exchanges, highlighted the spirit of partnership and cooperation being embraced through this Commission.

During the session, the Minister indicated that discussions were fruitful and covered various bilateral topics, including air connectivity, judicial cooperation, economic opportunities, cultural exchanges, labour migration, and combating illicit trafficking. Agreements were reviewed, potential collaboration areas were identified, and innovative approaches were also explored, he pointed out.

The Minister, moreover, affirmed that the renewal of the cultural agreement between Mauritius and Madagascar for the 2024-2027 period will showcase the commitment to nurturing cultural and artistic interactions, and highlighted the proposed Agreement between the Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture and the University of Toamasina as a substantial opportunity for academic and cultural cooperation.

For her part, Ms Rasata underlined the key initiatives that were outlined during the session, including plans for the establishment of the Moramanga industrial zone, aimed at harnessing the economic potential of both countries and facilitating regional growth.

Additionally, she underscored the efforts to enhance food production in Madagascar, reflecting the nation's aspiration to become a primary source of high-quality agricultural goods in the Indian Ocean region.

The Malagasy Minister indicated that discussions surrounding investment opportunities, with Madagascar extending an invitation to Mauritian investors to explore ventures in various sectors such as tourism, agro-industry, textiles, and mining, were also at the forefront, with an emphasis on labour migration and cultural cooperation further highlighting Madagascar's commitment to nurturing human capital and preserving cultural heritage.

Madagascar demonstrates its commitment to cultural cooperation by bolstering historical ties and providing support to the Intercontinental Museum of Slavery with materials, she stated.

Press Conference

Following the signature of the proceedings of the Second Joint Cooperation Commission Session, both Ministers briefed the Press regarding the session.

Minister Gobin, for his part, recalled that this Session is a result of a High-Level meeting between the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, and the President of the Republic of Madagascar, Mr Andry Nirina Rajoelina, in February 2024.

While initially scheduled to take place in Madagascar, the session has been organised due to the presence of the concerned Ministers and Officials already present in Mauritius for the Indian Ocean Commission Council of Ministers Meeting held on 16 May 2024, the Minister underlined. He thus announced that the next Session will be held in Madagascar, and thanked the Malagasy Minister of Foreign Affairs and her delegation for their cooperation in arranging this session.

As for Ms Rasata, she pointed out that this meeting provided an opportunity for fruitful discussions on various points and areas of cooperation between the two countries, including trade, judicial matters, migrant workers, investments, and tourism, among others, facilitating the delegations in thoroughly assessing and improving the two countries' bilateral cooperation, a goal intended to be reinforced in the future.

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