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AfricaMoney | August 20, 2017

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Mauritius and India: New partnership to open up fresh economic opportunities

Mauritius and India: New partnership to open up fresh economic opportunities

The island economy has joined hands with India to define new economic cooperation projects between the two countries and devise new arrangements regarding the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA). (Image: Narendra Modi page)

Mauritius Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam has embarked upon a new economic partnership with his Indian counterpart, the recently elected Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, as the key takeaway from a tête-à-tête on May 27, 2014.

The partnership is widely expected to consolidate the gains of several decades of cooperation and open up new economic opportunities.

After the meeting with Indian PM Narendra Modi and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi, Ramgoolam held a press conference during which he defined the new economic cooperation projects between the two countries and new arrangements regarding the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).

To this end, he announced that both the Prime Minister’s Office of India and that of Mauritius will set up a special unit which will be responsible for a systematic exchange of financial information.

Furthermore, Mauritius has decided to automatically transfer to the Indian authorities all data on entities wishing to register in the country and seeking to invest in India.

Ramgoolam also explained that Mauritius will defend the reputation of its financial sector which he said is on the white list of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), thus confirming and reinforcing its credibility.

To this end, Mauritius will also initiate measures to enhance the substance of companies wishing to engage in the financial sector of Mauritius.

Accordingly, Mauritius will ensure that three well-defined criteria covering the business purpose of the entity wishing to register in Mauritius, its commercial value, and finally, its economic substance, are duly respected.

The Prime Minister also proposed to his counterpart that India should make full use of the financial sector of Mauritius to mobilize funds on favorable terms and conditions for financing major infrastructure projects.

In this context, it may be noted that foreign investments are crucial for India, which needs about USD 1 trillion by March 2017 to overhaul infrastructure such as ports, airports and highways, in order to boost growth.

Furthermore, discussions between the two leaders also focused on the existing opportunities in the island nation in the wake of the lead taken by Mauritius to develop its ocean economy.

Navin Ramgoolam pointed out that the vast Exclusive Economic Zone of Mauritius represents huge possibilities of economic exploitation in terms of hydrocarbons, nodules and pharmaceutical derivatives.  Provision of security in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Mauritius was also discussed.

Finally, the Prime Minister of Mauritius invited his Indian counterpart to pay an official visit to Mauritius.

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