Mauritius & Pakistan to explore avenues of triangular trade cooperation with Africa
For the implementation of some of the projects under the Africa Strategy, the island would like to collaborate with third countries, spurring private sectors of Mauritius and Pakistan to work together in a triangular mode of cooperation in the Mauritius-Pakistan-Africa format. (Image: GIS)
Mauritius and Pakistan agreed to establish a Joint Trade Committee and a Sub Committee for customs matters at the 10th meeting of the Mauritius-Pakistan Joint Working Group (JWG) held at the Henessy Park Hotel in Ebène from July 16 – 17, 2014.
The Joint Trade Committee and a Sub Committee will boost the effectiveness of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) signed between the South Asian nation and the Indian Ocean island economy in July 2007.
Besides, for the implementation of some of the projects under the Africa Strategy, the island would like to collaborate with third countries; consequently, private sectors of Mauritius and Pakistan are encouraged to work together in a triangular mode of cooperation in the Mauritius-Pakistan-Africa format.
Moreover, the 10th JWG also highlighted the need for Mauritius and Pakistan to explore other avenues of triangular mode of cooperation, such as Mauritius-Pakistan-Turkey and Mauritius-India-Pakistan, given that the private sector institutions of Mauritius and Pakistan have signed collaborative arrangements between themselves as well as with their counterparts in Turkey and India.
Additionally, Mauritius and Pakistan extended invites to each other for exploiting business opportunities.
Mauritius has identified a number of potential sectors to attract more Pakistani investments such as manufacturing – covering assembly of tractors, spare parts for motorcycles, ago-products and textiles – film industry, freeport and financial services.
In this context, Pakistani trading houses and investors have been invited by Mauritius to participate in the 3rd Mauritius International Trade Fair from August 21 – 24, 2014.
Meanwhile, Pakistan invited Mauritian firms and institutions to participate in the forthcoming Expo Pakistan in October 2014.
Also, as Sports play an important role in promoting trade and tourism and offer greater visibility for a country at international level, Pakistan is willing to send cricket players to Mauritius for a few important matches in the aim of promoting cricket tourism.
Additionally, Mauritius can count on Pakistan in its efforts towards a robust Ocean Economy, as a Centre of Excellence at Karachi University in Pakistan will offer opportunities to Mauritian students and researchers to undertake studies and research in marine biology and ocean resources.
Further to the annual visit of Dr Wajid Ali Khan to perform corneal transplant and vitro retinal surgery on Mauritian patients, both sides are seeking to enhance cooperation in other medical areas such as cancer and heart surgery or transplant.
Concerning entrepreneurship, Pakistan will take Mauritian SMEs through a study tour in the region of Sialkot and Gujranwala to help local entrepreneurs learn from the Pakistan experience.
Also, both sides agreed to hold the next JWG meeting in September 2015.
In a related development, representatives of a Pakistani delegation and Mauritian business met on Friday July 18, 2014 at the Mauritius Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) for an interactive session within the framework of the 10th meeting of the JWG to identify new opportunities of bilateral trade and investment.
The meeting, chaired by Mr Shehzad Ahmed, President of the Mauritius-Pakistan Joint Business Council, was an opportunity for Mauritian businessmen already working with Pakistan to share their views on the existing trading relations and to discuss ways and means to improve these relations.
According to Waqar Ahmad Shah, Joint Secretary of Commerce, the relations between Pakistan and Mauritius would certainly deepen thanks to the consolidation of the PTA.
He stressed on an extension of the list of products exempted from tariffs within the framework of exchanges and also on creating a possible free trade area between the nations.
He added that Pakistan is a prominent base in the region and could be used as a hub for the neighbouring countries.
Finally among the possibilities of cooperation, Shah proposed the assistance of Pakistan in textile manufacturing, one of the key industries of the country.