Mauritius and Seychelles signed an agreement on Thursday to boost the economic development of the two island nations, according to a report released by the Government of Mauritius. The agreement, covering 22 areas of co-operation across diverse sectors, was signed by the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Xavier-Luc Duval and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Seychelles, Jean-Paul Adam. It marked the conclusion of the 10th session of the two-day long Mauritius-Seychelles Commission on Bilateral Cooperation held in the Mauritian capital of Port Louis.
Duval said that the agreement will focus on promoting exchanges and networks for professionals besides enhancing air and sea travel services to boost inter-regional trade. This will help the two island nations achieve higher growth rates, he added. Both countries should work towards trade liberalisation, by lowering trade barriers and ensuring free flow of goods, services, investment, and technology within the region, he noted.
Duval also made a reference to the Blue Economy, highlighting it as a high potential sector that both countries must tap for economic development. Blue Economy is a term coined for the best nature-inspired technologies that may be expected to affect the economies of the world. Leveraging the Blue Economy has a particular significance for island nations like Mauritius and Seychelles that rely on ocean tourism services to boost their economies.
Seychelles’ Foreign Affairs Minister pointed out that the implementation of a number of ongoing agreements and projects in financial, health, educational, information and communication technology sectors as well as in the fields of security, piracy and maritime surveillance is key to the strengthening of bilateral ties. He agreed with Duval on the importance of exploiting the potential of the Blue Economy.
The employment of Mauritian professionals in Seychelles, capacity building in Mauritius with help from Seychelles; Information and Communication technology strides in Mauritius with access to the Seychelles East Africa Submarine (SEAS) cable fisheries; cross-border investment cooperation; luxury marina development; tourism; regional cooperation; social security; gender equality; education and health were touched upon as the main avenues of cooperation between Mauritius and Seychelles.
To get a quick estimate of the existing inflows between the countries, a report released in June 2013 by the Central Bank of Mauritius noted that the foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mauritius from Seychelles for the period January to March 2013 amounted to approximately MUR 10 million, of a total FDI of MUR 2,677 million. The report noted further that the reciprocal direct investment to Seychelles from Mauritius amounted to approximately MUR 12 million for the same period, of a total direct investment outflow of MUR 612 million.
NOTE: All figures above exclude investment by Category 1 Global Business Units (GBC1). A GBC1 undertakes global business activity, outside of Mauritius, as approved by the Financial Services Act 2007. Examples of some approved activities are international trading, investment holding, offshore insurance, offshore funds management, IT services.
Source: Government of Mauritius