New Delhi [India], September 7 (ANI): Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth on Thursday highlighted India’s support seen in all sectors of the Mauritian economy and said that New Delhi was the first to sign an agreement with Port Louis – the first country in Africa to sign Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
“We can see the support of India in all sectors of the Mauritian economy. India has been accompanying us in the socio-economic development. Everywhere you go in Mauritius, you will see the imprint of the support of India,” the Mauritian Prime Minister said.
He said that India is assisting the East African nation in its socioeconomic development.
On Mauritius-India trade relations, PM Jugnauth said, “India has signed first agreement with the first country in Africa with Mauritius. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is another testimony of the consideration that India has for Mauritius. This has now opened up new avenues for trade between the two countries…It is beneficial to both countries…”
The Prime Minister gave the example of a few iconic projects. He said: “There is the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre. We had built the Cyber Tower, which has now become a Cyber City. And I must say that to honour the memory of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, we have named the Cyber Tower as the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Tower.”
He further said that with India’s support, Mauritius has built the new Supreme Court building. “We have a new ENT hospital. The most prestigious project which has been realized is the Light rail metro project,” he said.
Jugnauth said that all these projects and particularly the Metro Express, have been a tremendous improvement in people’s living standards. It has contributed to making a modern system of public transport and “of course, we are looking forward to more engagements and more support so that we keep on moving and progressing in the right direction.”
Stating that Mauritius has been classified as 13th in the whole world in terms of the last Ease of Doing Business ranking by the World Bank, he appealed to Indian entrepreneurs to use “Mauritius as a gateway to Africa…”
On defence cooperation between Mauritius and India, Mauritius PM said, “…You can see the maritime area for us to Police is enormous and alone we don’t have the sufficient resource to be able to do that. We have seen a number of illegal activities in the Indian Ocean – starting with piracy, illegal fishing, drug trafficking and smuggling of illicit goods.”
“We need to collaborate with other countries to see to it that Indian Ocean is a safe place. So, we have an agreement with India for maritime security and surveillance and it is not only with India. We have an agreement with France, with US and other friendly African countries. It is quite normal that when we share the same objective that countries come together in order to see to it that we protect the country and make the ocean a safer place,” he added.
Meanwhile, in 2023, India, and Mauritius celebrated 75 years of diplomatic relations. “I think in itself, it is a milestone that needs to be celebrated and also a testimony of how this relationship has been strengthening throughout the years so that we have reached a situation today where I can say that never before has this relationship reached such heights,” Jugnauth said.
The Mauritian PM then went ahead to thank the Indian government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the country’s consistent support in Mauritius’s fight for decolonisation.
“Let me seize this opportunity to thank Govt of India, PM Narendra Modi for the staunch and consistent support that India has been extending to us in our fight for decolonisation. This has been a long-standing fight and India has supported us like so many countries…” he said while speaking on the Chagos Archipelago sovereignty issue.
India and Mauritius share a colonial past and are joined by unique Diaspora ties. Both countries celebrate diversity of ethnicities, faiths, languages, and cultures, and draw strength from being inclusive democracies with independent judiciary and a vibrant media.
“We are very thankful for the role that India has played. I believe that with the influence of India, we have gathered even larger support and we are very convinced that we are progressing each time that we are moving forward,” he said.
Jugnauth on Thursday received a rousing welcome as he arrived at the New Delhi Airport on Thursday for the G20 Summit that will be held here in the national capital from September 9-10.
He was received at the Airport by Shripad Naik Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping. As he came out of the Delhi airport he was accorded with a traditional folk dance performance.
India has close, longstanding relations with Mauritius, owing to historical, demographic and cultural reasons. A key reason for the special ties is the fact that Indian-origin people comprise nearly 70 per cent of the island’s population.
India has traditionally been the ‘first responder’ for Mauritius in times of crisis, including during the recent Covid-19 and Wakashio oil-spill crises. India was the first country to supply Covid-19 vaccines to Mauritius.
Meanwhile, New Delhi is geared up to host the G20 Leader’s Summit in the national capital at the newly inaugurated Bharat Mandapam on September 9-10.
This is the first time that the G20 Summit is taking place under India’s presidency. The event will be graced by many global leaders and delegates. Extensive preparations and arrangements have been made for the summit, with the intention of showcasing both India’s soft power as well as modern face.
Formed in 1999, the G20 was formed to maintain global financial stability by incorporating middle-income countries.
India assumed the G20 presidency on December 1 last year and about 200 meetings related to G20 were organized in 60 cities across the country.
The 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi will be a culmination of all the G20 processes and meetings held throughout the year among ministers, senior officials, and civil societies.
Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, was welcomed by Shri Shripad Yesso Naik
Yesterday, Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, was welcomed at the airport by the Minister of State for Tourism and Ports, Shipping and Waterways of India, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik.
Prime Minister Jugnauth will have a working session, today with the Minister of External Affairs of India, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
The working session will be followed, in the afternoon, by a meeting between Prime Minister Jugnauth and the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.