CECPA Mauritius-India: Here's all you need to know about the trade agreement
On 17 February 2021, Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) between India and Mauritius. The deal will be inked by both the countries on a mutually convenient date and is expected to come into force from the 1st of the following month.
The agreement will provide a timely boost for the revival of our economies post COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement will facilitate Indian investors to use Mauritius as a launchpad for the expansion of the business into continental Africa helping the prospect of Mauritius emerging as a 'hub of Africa'.
Salient Features of India-Mauritius CECPA:
1- The India-Mauritius CECPA will be the first trade agreement to be signed by India with a country in Africa.
2- It will cover Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural Persons, Telecom, Financial Services, Customs Procedures and Cooperation in other Areas.
Key Highlights of the Trade Agreement:
1- The trade provides for an institutional to encourage and improve trade between India and Mauritius.
2- It covers 310 export items for India, including foodstuff and beverages (80 lines), agricultural products (25 lines), textile and textile articles (27 lines), base metals and articles thereof (32 lines), electricals and the electronic item (13 lines), plastics and chemicals (20 lines).
3- The deal will benefit Mauritius from preferential market access into India for its 615 products, including frozen fish, speciality sugar, biscuits, fresh fruits, juices, mineral water, beer, alcoholic drinks, soaps, bags, medical and surgical equipment, and apparel.
4- Indian service providers will have access to around 115 sub-sectors from the 11 broad service sectors such as professional services, computer-related services, research & development, other business services, telecommunication, construction, distribution, education, environmental, financial, tourism & travel-related, recreational, yoga, audio-visual services, and transport services.
5- India has offered around 95 sub-sectors from the 11 broad services sectors, including professional services, R&D, other business services, telecommunication, financial, distribution, higher education, environmental, health, tourism and travel-related services, recreational services and transport services.
6- Both India and Mauritius have agreed to negotiate an Automatic Trigger Safeguard Mechanism (ATSM) for a limited number of highly sensitive products within two years of the Signing of the Agreement.
In addition to this, India and Mauritius inked another agreement to enable the procurement of defence assets from India.
Both India and Mauritius are sustained by historic cultural affinities, frequent high-level political interactions, development cooperation, defence and maritime partnership, and people to people linkages.
In October 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth jointly inaugurated Phase-I of the Metro Express Project and the 100-bed state of the art ENT hospital project in Mauritius.
In July 2020, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth jointly inaugurated the Supreme Court building.
Both of these projects are being implemented under 353 million USD 'Special Economic Package' that was extended to Mauritius by India in 2016.
In addition to the above, India has been among the largest trading partner and one of the largest exporters of goods and services to Mauritius since 2005. In 2019, the main import partners of Mauritius were India (13.85%), China (16.69%), South Africa (8.07%), and UAE (7.28%), as per International Trade Centre (ITC).
The bilateral trade between India and Mauritius has registered a growth of 233% from 206.76 million USD in the FY 2005-06 to 690.02 million USD in the FY 2019-20. India's exports to Mauritius surged 232% from 199.43 million USD in FY 2005-06 to 662.13 million USD in FY 2019-20. In FY 2019-20, India's imports from Mauritius increased to 27.89 million USD from 7.33 million USD in FY 2005-06.