India and Mauritius have agreed to include the self-triggering safeguard mechanism provisions in their Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) trade pact, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said on Thursday, reports Trend citing ThePrint.
The agreement was decided during the 1st session of the India-Mauritius High-Powered Joint Trade Committee, from August 1 to 3, in New Delhi.
The High Level Joint Trade Committee had been constituted in accordance with the mandate of the India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA), to review the general functioning and implementation of the trade pact.
The CECPA entered into force on April 1, 2021 and it is the first trade agreement signed by India with a country in Africa.
“Both parties have agreed to the inclusion of the General Economic Cooperation (GEC) chapter and the Automatically Triggered Safeguard Mechanism (ATSM) in the CECPA,” the official statement read.
The GEC chapter will improve the competitiveness of exports and expand the scope of existing collaboration, among others, in the fields of investment, financial services, textiles, small and medium-sized enterprises, handicrafts, stones precious stones and jewellery, information and communication technologies, film production. , space technology, blue economy, port infrastructure, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, competition policy, renewable energies, etc.
During the meeting, the two sides agreed to strengthen bilateral collaboration to further increase bilateral trade and realize the true potential of the bilateral relationship, especially within the framework of CECPA.
India and Mauritius have had many interactions in the service sector with regards to establishing equivalences in certification, skills and licensing requirements of various professional bodies and exploring a collaboration agreement /cooperation between the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship and its Mauritian counterpart on the development of skill sets.
The Mauritian side, while expressing the shortage of professionals in Mauritius in various sectors such as ICT, financial services, film production, engineering, health, tourism/hospitality and ocean economy, etc., welcomed the movement of highly skilled professionals from India to Mauritius.
In addition, both parties expressed their willingness to enter into a Customs Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement (CMMA) and agreed to start discussions on the agreement soon.
Affirming their mutual concern to diversify and widen the trade basket, the two parties discussed additional market access issues and agreed to discuss bilateral agreements recognizing the equivalence of SPS and TBT measures.
The two sides also agreed to identify bilateral focal points to further strengthen bilateral institutional cooperation.
Bilateral merchandise trade between India and Mauritius increased to USD 786.72 million in 2021-22 from USD 690.02 million in 2019-20.
The meeting was co-chaired by Srikar K Reddy, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, and Narainduth Boodhoo, Director of Trade Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, India. Regional Integration and International Trade, Government of Mauritius.
Senior officials from both countries also took part in the meeting. The two parties have agreed to hold the next session of the India-Mauritius High Power JTC Meeting in 2023.
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