The Blue Economy dream is set to bring India and Mauritius in a tighter strategic embrace. Building on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to the archipelago nation in March this year, the December 6-10 visit by Bibi Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim, the first female president of Mauritius, is set to bolster multi-layered ties between the two countries.
It’s primarily a goodwill visit, but it will also include substantive discussions on firming up a roadmap for expanding blue economic cooperation between India and Mauritius. The two sides are expected to discuss stability and safety in the Indian Ocean Region, which has seen an increased foray by China in recent years.
Infrastructure and developmental cooperation will figure prominently in the talks. During Mr Modi’s visit, India had offered a Line of Credit (LOC) of USD 500 million to Mauritius. The two countries are likely to review the status of the infrastructure projects for which the LOC was provided.
Mauritius, home to a large Indian diaspora, is strategically important for India and accounts for the largest amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flowing into the country.
India had also offered support for the construction of the second cyber city. During Mr Modi’s visit, both the countries had signed an agreement on the development of Agalega Island which is a major step to expand strategic infrastructure cooperation. The two sides are likely to review the progress and map the way forward on the development of the island.
Discussions on the double taxation avoidance convention are expected to continue. The two sides are focusing on preventing abuse of the Convention, while enabling Mauritius to benefit fully from this arrangement. Both sides are also likely to resume discussions on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
The two countries will likely discuss broader regional cooperation issues that will enhance peace and prosperity in the maritime domain. India has agreed to support Mauritius in all areas, including delivery of other ships and equipment that Mauritius has sought from India.
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