India, Mauritius Ink Free Trade Pact

India and Mauritius have signed a free trade agreement, under which over 300 domestic goods from agriculture, electronics, textiles and other sectors will get market access at concessional customs duties in the African nation, an official statement said on 16th February.

According to a commerce ministry statement, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan and Ambassador Haymandoyal Dillum, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Government of Mauritius, signed the India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) in Port Louis on 15 February.
It was signed in the presence of Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth, and India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, it added.
Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) is the 1st trade agreement signed by India with a country in Africa, the ministry said.
"The agreement will come into force at an early date," it added.
The Union Cabinet on 17th February had approved signing of this pact. Mauritius will benefit from preferential market access into India for its 615 products, including frozen fish, fresh fruits, juices, speciality sugar, biscuits, mineral water, soaps, bags, beer, alcoholic drinks, medical and surgical equipment, and apparel.
In a free trade agreement, 2 trading partners cut or eliminate customs duties on a host of products besides liberalising norms to promote services trade.
The bilateral trade between the countries dipped to US$ 690 million in 2019-20 from US$ 1.2 billion in 2018-19. While India's exports in 2019-20 aggregated to US$ 662 million, the imports stood at US$ 27.89 million.

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