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AfricaMoney | July 25, 2017

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Mauritius & Reunion to set up Joint Economic Commission for mutual interest projects

Mauritius & Reunion to set up Joint Economic Commission for mutual interest projects

Mauritius and Reunion island are poised to set up a Joint Economic Commission (JEC) to define an operational roadmap for a common vision by developing new spheres of cooperation and focusing on the establishment of a framework for economic cooperation between the Indian Ocean islands. (Image: KPMG Mauritius)

Mauritius and Reunion will set up a Joint Economic Commission (JEC) for the region to open new avenues of cooperation between the two countries.

This agreement was concluded during the visit of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo, and his delegtaion to Reunion Island from 31 May to 3rd June. The Regional Council of Reunion Island and the Government of Mauritius decided to define an operational roadmap to implement projects of mutual interest as both countries share several similarities.

 

The first meeting of the JEC, which will meet once annually, is scheduled on 7 and 8 September in Mauritius.

Upon commencement of its operations, the JEC will reinforce the common vision of both countries for the region by developing new spheres of cooperation in terms of capacity building and human resource development through the sharing of expertise and enhancement of skills. The discussion will also revolve around ways to boost investments as well as create jobs.

Moreover, it will give further spur to cross-border cooperation between Mauritius and Reunion Island and help both countries to take concerted actions, implement effective strategies and increase cooperation at a regional level to better face international competition and challenges.

Other areas of development discussed during the mission pertained to identifying and exploring new opportunities to increase trade. To this end, the Mauritian side proposed the abolition of customs duties on products manufactured in Reunion and exported to Mauritius.

With regards to improving air connectivity, the possibility of a reduction in air fare on the routes Mauritius-Reunion-Rodrigues was also raised and will be finalised during the first meeting of the JEC in Mauritius.

Among other topics on the agenda were transfer of skills, technology and capital, especially in the setting up of technology parks, as well as digital connectivity; renewable energy and the “SMART Agriculture” – sustainable agriculture – with a view to allow the industry to ensure a significant share of domestic food production in the medium term.

Finally, for bilateral relations, focus was placed on the establishment of a framework for economic cooperation that is conducive to strengthen exchanges between the Indian Ocean islands. Under this framework, Reunion authorities have expressed interest to partner with Mauritius to develop the Special Economic Zones project in Madagascar.

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