China gives Rs 500 million in grants and interest free loan to Mauritius
China’s Ambassador to Mauritius, Mr Li Li, said that the presence of Chinese enterprises in Mauritius already demonstrates the strong partnership that exists between the two countries. (Image: File Photo, CWE)
Displaying bullishness on the island economy, China has allocated a grant of around Rs 250 million and an interest-free loan of about Rs 250 million, or a total of Rs 500 million, to the government of Mauritius for supporting development projects in priority areas.
With Mauritius being positioned as an important economic platform between China and Africa in terms of facilitating investment flow into China and vice-versa, it is no surprise that the Asian superpower is investing in the growth of the island economy.
The agreement was signed on Friday, 6 February in Port Louis by Mauritius Finance Minister Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo and the Chinese Ambassador in Mauritius, Mr Li Li.
At the signing ceremony, Lutchmeenaraidoo noted that the two agreements will take the friendly relations between Mauritius and China to greater heights and enhance and enrich their economic and technical cooperation.
He noted that both countries would build on this strong foundation to achieve higher development goals through established and innovative modes of cooperation including a mutually beneficial transfer of capital, technology and business opportunities.
Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo emphasised that China remains a strategic partner to Mauritius and has always extended both technical and financial support for the economic development of the country.
The Finance Minister highlighted the ongoing negotiations with regards to the Jinfei project at Riche Terre with the Chinese authorities, for which he said that a consensus would be reached shortly to the mutual benefit of both economies.
He also announced the holding of the Sino-Mauritian Joint Commission in the second quarter of 2015 where discussions would center on key infrastructure projects and water projects, among other priority areas.
For his part, China’s Ambassador to Mauritius, Mr Li Li, highlighted the strengthening of cooperation in the tourism sector, textile sector and other promising sectors in addition to improving the infrastructure needs in Mauritius.
The agreements, he added, will give a new dimension to the existing cooperation between China and Mauritius. He reiterated the support of China in the economic development of Mauritius where he said that the presence of Chinese enterprises in Mauritius already demonstrates the strong partnership that exists between the two countries.
It will be noted that official China-Mauritius cooperation dates back to 1972 and Mauritius has obtained around Rs 36 billion in the form of grants, interest-free and commercial loans to implement key infrastructure projects, such as the airport, roads, housing, closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera, the sewerage system and the water sector.