23 February 2021.
India and Mauritius have signed a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA). This marked India’s first trade pact with an African country.
- It was signed in the presence of Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth and the external affairs minister of India, S Jaishankar.
- CECPA was approved by the Indian Cabinet on February 17, 2021.
- It will come into effect from March, 2021.
- As per this limited agreement, India will be given preferential access to the markets in Mauritius and vice versa.
- India will get access to 310 products on the other hand, Mauritius will get access to 615 products.
- India will also get access to 115 sub-sectors in the 11 broad services sectors.
- India will get access to goods like food & beverages, farm products, textiles & garments etc while Mauritius will get access to frozen fish, biscuits, speciality sugar, fresh fruits, juices
- These sectors include financial services, software, and telecommunications.
- The agreement also allows unrestricted movement of skilled professionals.
Significance of the agreement
- This is the first trade agreement that India signed after it launched “Atma-Nirbhar Bharat Initiative”.
- Also, this was the first ever agreement that India signed with any African Nation where China has its economic dominance.
- Thus, this pact becomes significant as a counter to China. Further, the pact will set stage for more such pacts with other African Nations.
India-Mauritius Trade relation
- The Bilateral trade between India and Mauritius have increased from $207 million in 2005-06 to $690 million in the Financial Year 2020.
- This accounts for 233% increase in the trade.
- Also, India’s exports to Mauritius have increased from $199 million to $662 million in the same period. It accounts for 232% increase.
- On the other hand, India’s imports from Mauritius have just increased from $7 million to almost $28 million.