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AfricaMoney | August 21, 2017

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WTO examines Free Trade Agreement between Mauritius and Turkey

WTO examines Free Trade Agreement between Mauritius and Turkey

Turkey eliminated the customs duties on all industrial goods originating in Mauritius upon the agreement coming into effect from 1 June 2013. (Image: Private Tours Istanbul)

The regional trade agreements committee of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is gathered since June 23, 2014 in Geneva to examine the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Mauritius and Turkey to establish if it conforms to WTO requirements.

The official delegation of Mauritius at this meeting was led by the Director, Trade Policy, International Trade Division, Assad Bhuglah, whereas that of Turkey was led by the Division Chief of the Ministry of economy, Mehmet Bozkurt.

In his speech at the opening session of the committee of the WTO, Assad Bhuglah highlighted that the Mauritius-Turkey FTA comes at a crucial stage in the relationship between both countries and opens a new page in the history of their bilateral trade.

“Expanding trade is an effective tool for both our countries to develop their economies. We believe that the signing of the FTA will provide the right synergy between the two countries,” he said.

For his part, Mehmet Bozkurt reaffirmed that his country is in favor of a multilateral commercial system based on the regulation and supervision of WTO.

He also pointed out that, for the last 20 years, Turkey has advocated policies favoring free trade agreements.

“We attach great importance to Mauritius as a significant gate opening to Eastern and Southern Africa. Thus, we have rather high expectations for our future trade relations,” Mehmet Bozkurt said.

Finally, to facilitate the discussions during this meeting, the secretarial department of the WTO prepared a report presenting the striking facts of the free trade agreement, where the report was earlier handed to the members of WTO to allow them to ask questions or to look for clarifications during the working meeting.

Mauritius and Turkey in second round of negotiations over FTA

Mauritius and Turkey in second round of negotiations over FTA (Image: File Photo/ Mauritius Chambers of Commerce and Industry)

The Free Trade Agreement between Turkey and Mauritius was signed on 9 September 2011 in Istanbul and entered into force on 1 June 2013.

The Turkey-Mauritius FTA mainly regulates the elimination of customs duties imposed on imports and exports in industrial products, and of quantitative restrictions and measures having equivalent effect.

Furthermore, Turkey eliminated the customs duties on all industrial goods originating in Mauritius upon the agreement coming into effect.

Concerning agricultural products, Turkey granted Mauritius market access in form of tariff quota or duty reductions in some products, whereas Mauritius eliminated the customs duties imposed, with the exception of certain products which are deemed to be of sensitive nature for the economy.

When bilateral trade statistics are examined, it can be seen that the trade volume between Turkey and Mauritius was USD 41.7 million in 2012. In 2012, exports to Mauritius were USD 35.5 million, whereas imports from Mauritius were USD 6.2 million.

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