Toreena Coonjan – Assistant Manager
The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between The Government of the People’s Republic of China and The Government of the Republic of Mauritius came into force on 1 January 2021.
The FTA consists of four major parts which are trade in services, trade in goods, economic cooperation and investment.
The Agreement is beneficial for both countries and will further enhance economic and trade relations between Mauritius and China.
The FTA gives Mauritius duty-free access on 96% of items listed in China’s tariff schedule, representing 8,547 products and covers more than 40 services sectors.
As far as trade in services is concerned, both parties have agreed to remove restrictions in more than 100 service sectors, including financial and professional services.
A major achievement for Mauritius as a trading hub
The Mauritius-China FTA is major achievement since it is the first Agreement of its kind that China has signed with a country in Africa. It has given Mauritius access to a huge market.
Mauritius as a service hub
As far as trade in services is concerned, Mauritius service providers now have access to more than 40 service sectors, including financial services, telecommunications, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), professional services, construction and health services.
Mauritius can now also establish businesses in China as wholly owned entities or in joint partnership with Chinese operators. The FTA has created new investment opportunities in Mauritius targeting the Chinese market and gives protection for investors and their investments against discriminatory and unfair treatment.
China has reduced its customs duties on a range of products that are currently being produced and exported by Mauritius to other countries. Given the huge demand and consumption pattern of its population, China could represent a potential market for products manufactured in Mauritius.
The FTA also represents an opportunity to attract new investments for exports to China.
Mauritius – a platform for China for in and out of Africa
China has been increasing its footprint in Africa, becoming of one the most influential players in the continent since the start of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2000, and trade volumes between the African continent and China have significantly increased over recent years.
The newly signed FTA reinforces Mauritius as a business hub of choice for the Indian Ocean, Africa and Asia; it enhances Mauritius’ ability to serve as a bridge connecting Asia and Africa and an investment hub for foreign companies.
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