India and Mauritius inked 5 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) on 11 March 2015 to give new impetus to bilateral co-operation between the two nations. The MoUs were signed in Port Luis in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritian counterpart Sir Anerood Jugnuth.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a five day official tour of three ocean nations, namely Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. The journey started on 10 March 2015 and will conclude on 14 March 2015.
This is the first visit to Mauritius by an Indian Prime Minister in over three decades.
The five MoUs which were signed between the two nations include
• MoU in the field of Ocean Economy: The agreement provides for mutually beneficial cooperation for exploration and capacity development in the field of marine resources, fisheries, green tourism, research and development of ocean technology, exchange of experts and other related activities
• MoU on Programme for Cultural Cooperation for the year 2015-18: The programme will help to enhance bilateral cooperation and will also enhance greater people-to-people participation between the two countries.
• MoU on the Protocol for the importation of fresh mango from India: The aim of this Protocol is to facilitate importation of fresh mango fruits from India by Mauritius to enable the Mauritian to relish the flavor of the world-renowned Indian mangoes.
• MoU for the Improvement in Sea and Air Transportation Facilities at Agalega Island of Mauritius: This will help in betterment of the condition of the inhabitants of this remote Island. These facilities will enhance the capabilities of the Mauritian Defence Forces in safeguarding their interests in the Outer Island.
• MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional System of Medicine and Homeopathy: This MoU will promote cooperation in the field of traditional system of health and medicine between the two countries. It envisages exchange of experts, supply of traditional medicinal substances, joint research and development and recognition of the traditional systems of health and medicine in both countries. It also aims at promotion and popularization of the various Indian traditional systems which fall under AYUSH.
Beside the summit-level talks and exchange of documents of the MoUs, India also offered a concessional line of credit of 500 million US dollars to Mauritius for key infrastructure projects.
Also, fee on the Electronic Travel Authorisation to visiting Mauritian citizens was waived off. The fee was waived off with an aim to enhance people-to-people contact between the two nations along with promotion of tourism.
The two Prime Ministers also discussed ways to combat climate change.
Comment and Analysis
The MoUs which were signed during the visit of Prime Minister Modi’s visit can be seen as an approach to revive the cultural ties between the two nations along with economic as well as maritime security options.
The MoU on the co-operation in the Ocean Economy lays ahead a chance for the two nations to develop new areas of ocean economy and follow sustainable practices in use of blue assets. It also provides a chance to boost scientific and economic partnership as well as understanding of marine ecology.
Besides, these MoUs will also broaden the regional cooperation and enhance peace and prosperity in maritime region.
Who: India and Mauritius
Where: Port Luis
What: Inked five MoUs
When: 11 March 2015