Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth was today morning accorded the ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. Jugnauth arrived in India on Friday for a three-day visit and will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi later today.
Apart from holding delegation-level talks with PM Modi, Jugnauth, who is accomanied by his deputy Ivan Collendavelloo among other senior officials, will also meet President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Defence and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
This is the Indian-origin Juganauth’s first visit aboard as prime minister of Mauritius.
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Jugnauth on Friday met Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. During those meetings, India and Mauritius discussed a numbero of issues including bilateral relations, security cooperation, maritime security, counter-terrorism a Home Ministry official told news agency IANS.
‘INDIAN BUSINESSES SHOULD INVEST IN MAURITIUS’
Mauritius is a major source of foreign direct investment to India and Jugnauth urged Indian businesses to take advantage of the island nation’s strategic location that provides a gateway to Africa and invest in special economic zones and pharmaceutical industry of Mauritius.
Describing Mauritius as “a home away from home” for Indians, Jugnauth said the partnership with India is likely to be cemented through the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA), which is taking shape.
“The CECPA will provide the opportunities for even greater flow of trade in goods and services as well as improve cross-border investments between our two countries,” the Mauritius prime minister said while addressing the industry chambers on Friday.
Dnyaneshwar M Mulay, Secretary, Overseas Indian Affairs in the Ministry of External Affairs, said both sides are pursuing the CECPA to help diversify the trade basket and address the balance of trade, which is currently in India’s favour.
He said the draft of the CECPA is likely to be ready in mid-2017 with an expected conclusion by the end of the year.
India exports petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, cereals, cotton and electrical machinery, among others, to Mauritius.
The island nation’s export to India includes iron and steel, pearls and precious and semi-precious stones.
Modi had visited the island nation in March, 2015, as Chief Guest at the Mauritian National Day celebrations.
During his visit, Modi had commissioned the OPV Barracuda, built by an Indian shipyard and financed by India, into the Mauritian Coast Guard.