Mauritius and Australia discuss common interests in Indian Ocean Region
Julie Bishop, Australia’s foreign affairs minister, said that the meeting with the Prime Minister centered on trade and investment, education, student exchange programs and the maritime law conference. (Image: SMH)
Australia’s foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop, together with the Australian High Commissioner in Mauritius, Susan Coles, met Mauritius’ Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam this week to discuss various issues pertinent to both countries as well as the wider Indian Ocean region.
Bishop noted that the meeting served as an opportunity to strengthen the existing bilateral ties between the two countries.
Regarding the strengthening of bilateral ties between Mauritius and Australia, Bishop said that “this meeting with the Prime Minister allowed us to discuss trade and investment, education, student exchange programs and the maritime law conference.”
The discussions for the two ocean-bound economies also centered on the Indian Ocean Association, the possible threats to the Indian Ocean and maritime laws.
It is to be recalled that during the Indian Ocean Rim Association Meeting held in Perth in 2013, the increasing importance of the Indian Ocean region to Australia was highlighted.
Most significantly, the meeting adopted the “Perth Principles Declaration” which reaffirmed a shared commitment to peaceful, productive and sustainable use of the Indian Ocean and its resources.
The visit also served for Bishop to meet Mauritius’ International Trade Minister Arvin Boolell last week to talk about several bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest.
On the international front, both sides agreed to closely collaborate on issues of regional and global interest, especially following the third international conference on SIDS which took place in Samoa earlier this month.
Bishop, accompanied by Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja, was on an official visit in Mauritius from 13 to 15 September 2014. This followed closely on a visit to Madagascar, in the context of an Indian Ocean Tour aimed at consolidating bilateral relations between Australia and players in the region.