Mauritius PM arrives on 8-day visit

MAURITIUS PRIME Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth is in India on an eight-day visit beginning Sunday to strengthen ties between the two countries in both economic as well as strategic sectors, especially in maritime security.

He arrived in Mumbai on Sunday, where he was received by Indian officials.

Announcing the visit, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Jugnauth will travel to Gujarat as well as Varanasi apart from his engagements in New Delhi. It said Jugnauth will be accompanied by his spouse Kobita Jugnauth and a high-level delegation during his visit from April 17 to 24.

“India and Mauritius enjoy uniquely close ties, bound by shared history, culture and heritage. The upcoming visit will further strengthen the vibrant bilateral ties,” the MEA said in a statement. It said Jugnauth will participate in the ground-breaking ceremony of the WHO-Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in Jamnagar on April 19 and the Global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit in Gandhinagar on April 20, along with PM Narendra Modi.

“Apart from official engagements in Gujarat and New Delhi, the PM of Mauritius will also visit Varanasi during the visit,” it said.

India has been one of the largest trading partners and exporter of goods and services to Mauritius since 2007.

India’s exports to Mauritius are largely of petroleum products. Besides petroleum products, main items of India’s exports to Mauritius are pharmaceuticals, cereals, cotton, shrimps and prawns, frozen boneless bovine meat. Main items of Mauritius exports to India are vanilla, instruments and apparatus for medical/surgical sciences, needles, aluminum alloys among others.

In January this year, Modi and Jugnauth inaugurated the Social Housing Project, and laid the foundation stones for a Civil Service College and an 8 MW Solar PV Farm project, which, Modi said, “will help mitigate the climate challenges that Mauritius faces as an island country”.

India had extended a US$ 353 million to Mauritius in May 2016 as a Special Economic Package for five priority projects, of which the Social Housing Project was the last to be completed.

Two agreements were also exchanged, one for extension of US$ 190 million Line of Credit to Mauritius for the Metro Express and other infrastructure projects and MoU on the Implementation of Small Development Projects.

In March, Mauritius became a member of the Colombo Security Conclave, a grouping of India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The grouping of NSAs from these countries works for regional security by focusing on areas such as maritime security, countering terrorism, combating trans-national crime and cyber security.

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