Commerce, Industry and Textiles Minister Anand Sharma, who is on a two-day visit to Mauritius, had a meeting with Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam at Port Louis today.
Sharma informed the Prime Minister of Mauritius that there was a need for deepening and diversifying trade and investment ties between the two countries.
Towards this end, he stressed upon the need for making the Mauritius India Business Council (MIBC) a robust institutional mechanism for giving a boost to trade and investment ties by identifying the priority sectors and sectors of engagement.
The identified sectors can be tourism, infrastructure, manufacturing and light engineering, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, health and life sciences, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and textiles. It was agreed that a Joint Working Group on trade and investment would meet before April 2013 to work out the modalities for broadening and deepening the economic engagement between the two countries.
Sharma assured of full support for the development of the textiles sector in Mauritius.
He stated that the three draft MOUs in the textiles sector proposed by the Government of Mauritius involving cooperation of the Northern India Textile Research Associaion (NITRA) and the Apparel Promotion Council of India with the Mauritian institutions would be finalized soon.
Sharma further stated that a delegation from India in the textiles sector would visit Mauritius shortly to establish institutional linkages.
He announced that 35 scholarships would be made available by India annually - 15 in the Institute of Apparel Management (IAM), 10 in the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and 10 in the Apparel Training and Design Centre (AT and DC).
Sharma further announced that 1000 trainees from Mauritius would be provided training for skill development in the textiles sector and 10 factories in Mauritius would be taken up by the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) for compliance with the requirements of quality certification .
He also announced that 5 students/ officers as may be nominated by the Government of Mauritius would be provided scholarship for training in WTO related matters in the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT).
The visiting Minister thanked the Prime Minister of Mauritius for consistently supporting India's candidature for a permanent seat in the Security Council.
Sharma announced that in addition to the existing Line of Credit of USD 250 million (which was announced during the visit of the Prime Minister of Mauritius in February, 2012), buyer's credit to the tune of US 100 million would be provided to Mauritius.
He appreciated the role played by Mauritius in the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR - ARC). Sharma expressed the hope that the Joint Working Group on Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC), which is scheduled to meet in February 2013, would be able to take the deliberations forward.
The visiting Minister expressed satisfaction regarding the cooperation between the two countries in the hydrocarbon sector and proposed further cooperation in onshore and offshore drilling and exploration.
Mauritius appreciated the recent policy initiatives taken by India, particularly Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Multi Brand retail, and expressed the hope that it would create new investment opportunities in India.
The Commerce, Industry and Textiles Minister informed the Government of Mauritius about India's National Manufacturing Policy and the establishment of National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs) as standalone integrated industrial townships for increasing the share of manufacturing in India's GDP from the current level of 16 percent to 26 percent in a decade and creating 100 million jobs in the process. (ANI)