“The virtual trade exhibition between India and Mauritius, organised by World Trade Center Mumbai on its digital trade platform wetrade.org, will serve as a strategic tool to enhance trade opportunities between the two countries, by connecting the wide network of buyers and sellers. It is my firm belief that setting up of this online trade and exhibition platform will increase marketing opportunities for small and medium enterprises in the two countries, thereby harnessing the benefits conferred by the India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA), which came into force in April 2021,” said Hon. Soomilduth Bholah, Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Govt. of Mauritius. Hon. Bholah was addressing participants at the Inaugural Webinar on ‘Trade Opportunities between India & Mauritius’, organized by World Trade Center Mumbai, Economic Development Board, Mauritius and Mauritius Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Minister Bholah further remarked, “Mauritius offers high quality products, which bear testimony to our reliability and unwavering commitment to global best practices. India is a key partner in Mauritius’ economic development, through trade and investment ties. Mauritius’ imports from India represent 15 per cent of its global imports, which includes pharmaceuticals, rice, cotton, cotton yarn, etc.”

He opined, “The manufacturing sector contributes about 30 per cent to Mauritius economy, and has made significant progress in high tech industries such as medical devices, auto components, technical textiles, sophisticated jewellery etc. In the medical devices category, Mauritius is a major exporter of catheters to India. In the textile and apparel industry, it produces an array of high quality T-shirts, trousers etc. which are supplied to globally renowned brands. We want to make Mauritius a manufacturing powerhouse in the African continent. Mauritius is strategically located between Asia and Africa and our preferential access to SADC, COMESA and AfCTA constitutes a major advantage for Indian companies.”

In his remarks, Mr. Hemraj Ramnial, CSK, Chairman, Economic Development Board, Mauritius said, “Mauritius has made important development strides by diversifying into a broadbased economy. Export earnings of USD 1.2 billion in 2021 are a remarkable achievement for a small island state like Mauritius. Participation in the virtual India-Mauritius exhibition organised by World Trade Center Mumbai will help Indian businesses access the African market, which constitutes 17 per cent of the global population and about 60 percent of untapped arable land. This platform will become a digital corridor to reap the untapped market potential of Africa.”

He further emphasised, “Mauritius is geographically well-situated and an ideal manufacturing destination, offering Ease of Doing Business and a plethora of fiscal benefits. It has the potential to be the hub of African expansion strategy in industrial machinery, engineering goods, OEMs for aircraft parts, paper and printing products, and glass products, among others. Business enterprises from India and Mauritius can work together to forge a strong developmental partnership.”

Earlier in his welcome remarks,Dr. Vijay Kalantri, Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai said, “I hope WTC Mumbai will play a catalytic role in promoting economic relations between Mauritius and India. The current bilateral trade of USD 466 million does not reflect true potential and I am confident that through our coordinated efforts we can increase this volume to USD 1 billion in the next two years.”

Dr. Kalantri expressed, “The virtual bilateral exhibition between India and Mauritius, organised by WTC Mumbai will focus on sectors such as Animal Feeds, Financial Services, Food Processing & Alcoholic Beverages, Garments, Leather Products, Light Engineering, Medical Devices and Tourism. WTC Mumbai has earlier hosted former Mauritius President and Prime Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth, and we invite His Excellency Mr. Prithvirajsing Roopun, President, Republic of Mauritius, and Hon’ble Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister, Republic of Mauritius, to visit India.”

Ms. Rupa Naik, Executive Director, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai proposed the Vote of Thanks, and suggested, the virtual trade platform wetrade.org allows visitors to interact with buyers and sellers in more than 100 languages, simultaneously. Business entities in both the countries should take advantage of the same.

H. E. Mrs. S. B. Hanoomanjee (G.C.S.K.), High Commissioner, Mauritius High Commission, India also graced the occassion.

The programme was attended by members of trade and industry, and government officials including diplomatic missions.