Amid China’s increasing forays into the Indian Ocean, India has upgraded its development partnership with Mauritius, with the leaders of the two countries jointly inaugurating the Social Housing Units Project in the island nation.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritius counterpart Pravind Kumar Jugnauth jointly inaugurated the project virtually on January 20. On this occasion, the two prime ministers also took part in a virtual foundation stone laying ceremony for two other India-supported projects – construction of a state-of-the-art Civil Service College and a 8-MW Solar PV Farm. The video-conference event in Mauritius was held in the Mauritian PMO premises in presence of dignitaries including Cabinet Ministers and senior officials of the Government of Mauritius.
An Agreement on extending a US$ 190 mn Line of Credit (LoC) from India to Mauritius for the Metro Express Project and other infrastructure projects; and MoU on the implementation of Small Development Projects were also exchanged.
The Agreement on Small Development Projects seeks to deliver high-impact projects at the community level across Mauritius. In the coming days, the two sides will begin work on a slew of important projects such as the Renal Transplant unit, the Forensic Science Laboratory, the National Library & Archives and the Mauritius Police Academy.
“Today, our robust development partnership has emerged as a key pillar of our close ties. Mauritius is a prime example of India’s approach to development partnership which is based on the needs and priorities of our partners and respects their sovereignty,” said PM Modi at the virtual ceremony.
Alluding to exemplary cooperation between India and Mauritius during the COVID pandemic, PM Modi said that under India’s Vaccine Maitri programme, Mauritius was one of the first countries we were able to send COVID vaccines to. “I am happy that today Mauritius is among the few countries in the world to have fully vaccinated three-fourths of its population,” he said.
Outlining growing defence and strategic cooperation between the two countries, PM Modi stressed that Mauritius is integral to India’s approach to the Indian Ocean. “It was in Mauritius, during my 2015 visit, that I had outlined India’s maritime cooperation vision of SAGAR -Security and Growth for All in the Region.” “I am glad that our bilateral cooperation, including in maritime security, has translated this vision into action. Despite the constraints of COVID, we were able to hand over a Dornier aircraft on lease and complete the Short Refit of the Mauritian Coast Guard ship Barracuda,” said Mr Modi.
In his remarks, PM Jugnauth thanked India for wide ranging assistance including financial assistance to Mauritius. He noted that under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi the relations between India and Mauritius have attained newer heights.
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