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File Photo: Minister of External Affairs of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (ANI Photo )
File Photo: Minister of External Affairs of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (ANI Photo )

India, Mauritius sign CECPA after China gains first-mover advantage

  • The Indian commerce ministry said the CECPA provides for an institutional mechanism to encourage and improve trade between the two countries.
  • Jaishankar tweeted the deal will help focus on post-pandemic economic recovery. Enable business expansion and greater investments

India and Mauritius on Monday signed the long-pending Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) after a similar free trade agreement between China and Mauritius came into effect on 1 January.

After signing the agreement on Monday, the minister of external affairs Jaishankar on Twitter said the deal“Will help focus on post-pandemic economic recovery. Enable business expansion and greater investments."

The Indian commerce ministry on Tuesday said the CECPA--the first trade agreement by India with an African nation--provides for an institutional mechanism to encourage and improve trade between the two countries.

The CECPA covers 310 export items for India, including food stuff and beverages (80 items), agricultural products (25 items), textile and textile articles (27 items), base metals and articles thereof (32 items), electricals and electronic item (13 items), plastics and chemicals (20 items), wood and articles thereof (15 items), and others. “Mauritius will benefit from preferential market access into India for its 615 products, including frozen fish, speciality sugar, biscuits, fresh fruits, juices, mineral water, beer, alcoholic drinks, soaps, bags, medical and surgical equipment, and apparel," Indian commerce ministry said.

Mauritius foreign ministry in a statement said the deal will allow it to export 40,000 tons of special sugar at 10% duty compared to 100% duty at present, 2 million litres of beer at 50% duty compared to 150% duty, 1.5 million litres on rum at 50% duty compared to an existing duty of 150%, 5000 litres at 50% duty compared to current duty of 150% on fruit wine, 7.5 million pieces duty free on garments and 7000 tons duty free access on canned tuna.

On services front, Indian service providers will have access to around 115 sub-sectors from the 11 broad service sectors in Mauritius including professional services, computer-related services, construction, education, tourism & travel related, yoga, audio-visual services, and transport services. “Both sides have also agreed to negotiate an Automatic Trigger Safeguard Mechanism (ATSM) for a limited number of highly sensitive products within two years of the Signing of the Agreement," Indian commerce ministry added.

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