The aim of the Indian Business Council (IBC) is “connecting economies through business”, with an objective of improving trade and business relationship between Mauritius and India and using Mauritius as a hub for doing business in Africa. Through this organisation, a platform will be provided to business owners and senior management of public and private companies of both countries to share their expertise and enhance their business.
Her Excellency Mrs K Nandini Singla, High Commissioner of the Republic of India to Mauritius speaking on the occasion expressed her happiness on the formation of the Indian Business Council. She congratulated the founder members and felt that while the need for such a business council has been there for long, the timing is opportune as it has come soon after the signing of CECPA, where the IBC can play a key role in promoting business, trade and investment between Mauritius and India. India is a growing economy with a large base of consumers growing at a rapid pace and it provides excellent investment opportunity. The growing emerging opportunities of Africa with its young population, large base of consumers and growing prosperity provides an excellent framework for partnership between India and Mauritius to explore the opportunity. She also urged to closely explore the benefits of intersections of CECPA with other bilateral and multi-lateral trading arrangements of Mauritius such as AfCFTA and arrangements with SADC, COMESA, and countries like China, Turkey, US etc. Mrs. Singla also urged IBC to work closely with Mauritian enterprises to increase export to India, which is a large market and take full advantage of CECPA. She also felt that IBC should work closely with business chambers in across Africa to facilitate Indo-Mauritian business initiatives.
The guest speaker of the event, Dr Bhavish Jugurnath, President – Africa Emerging Tech Hub, said that India and Mauritius enjoy deep-rooted relations, underpinned by eternal bonds of friendship and brotherhood. In Trade and Business terms, India has been among the largest trading partner and one of the largest exporters of goods and services to Mauritius since 2005. He mentioned Mauritius offers myriad of opportunities for investment and business as part of the Africa Strategy. The Indian Business Council can multiply business initiatives with Mauritius, Africa, engage in sustainable development, and capitalize on good investment and business returns.
The president of IBC Mr. Tony Malik (Partner, Deloitte) stated that IBC is a not-for-profit and membership-based organization that offers advice and services to members, collaborate on Indo-Mauritian business initiatives and functions as well as emerge as the voice of the Indo-Mauritian business community at an institutional level, within both countries as also globally. He also mentioned that the founding member Group of IBC is well diversified in terms of industry, representing private sector and public sector with diverse expertise and rich experience across different countries. He also underpinned that all the members have only one objective – facilitating and promoting trade, commerce and investments between India, Mauritius, and Africa. IBC promotes diversity; hence, the membership of the Association is open to all individual residents of Mauritius and body corporates registered in Mauritius. IBC will continue to maintain high standards for acceptance of its memberships. Mr.Malik also mentioned about the first Trade Agreement signed by India with an African Country, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CECPA) which came into force on 1 April 2021 which aims to provide the institutional mechanism that will encourage and improve trade in goods as well as services and economic co-operation between the two countries. IBC expects to play a facilitating role in this regard.