Mauritius and Reunion enhance cooperation towards improving trade between the two countries.
Fostering economic cooperation for improving trade and cross border investment, removing barriers and hurdles, as well as the setting up a regional low cost aviation company to service the Indian Ocean Islands, were discussion centering the meeting of the Commission Economique Regionale Mixte Maurice/Réunion.
Fostering economic cooperation for improving trade and cross border investment, removing barriers and hurdles, such as cost of air fares and visas; as well as the setting up a regional low cost aviation company to service the Indian Ocean Islands, were issues discussed at the first meeting of the Commission Economique Regionale Mixte Maurice/Réunion.
Discussions were led by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo, for the Mauritian side, and by Senator Didier Robert, for Reunion Island.
The work group included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Etienne Sinatambou; the Deputy Chief Commissioner of Rodrigues, Franchette Gaspard Pierre Louis; and the French Ambassador, Mr Laurent Garnier; along with Mauritian stakeholders and a strong delegation from Reunion Island.
The main objective of the meeting was to strengthen regional cooperation, and enhance trade and investment opportunities between Mauritius and Reunion Island. The issues discussed with the stakeholders, were namely the sharing of know-how and skills in various technological fields; and structure joint investment efforts into Africa, including Ghana.
Minister Luchmeenaraidoo said that Mauritius is indeed seeking the Reunion expertise to develop its projects including smart cities, integrated farming, renewable energy and in the deployment of digital connectivity, amongst others.
Air connectivity, he said, has also featured in the discussions and consideration is being given to lower the price of the air ticket between the two islands. The issue of setting up a regional low cost aviation company to service the Indian Ocean Islands, was also debated, he added, stressing that all stakeholders were in favour of this concept.
According to the Minister, this first meeting has helped to establish an operational roadmap for the implementation of cooperation activities between the two countries. He also invited the delegation from Reunion to be part of the team he will lead to Ghana in November this year as it would not only create business opportunities for Ghana and Reunion Island, but would also enhance the South –South cooperation.
It is recalled that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has already made regulations for the removal of customs duties as from 1 July 2015 on imports originating from Reunion Island within the framework of the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement.