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Mauritius-China FTA "meaningfully" strengthens bilateral ties, says trade official

Updated: March 17, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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Photo taken on July 26, 2018 shows the Eden Garden Culture & Entertainment Square, located at the Jinfei Economic, Trade & Cooperation Zone (Jinfei Zone), 3.5 kilometers west of Port Louis, capital of Mauritius. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)

PORT LOUIS, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Mauritius and China have embraced closer ties since a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries came into force more than two years ago, a Mauritian trade official has said.

The Mauritius-China FTA, which came into force on Jan. 1, 2021, "has meaningfully strengthened the economic and trade relations between Mauritius and China, taking our special bonds to new heights," Narainduth Boodhoo, director of the Trade Policy Unit of the International Trade Division of the Mauritian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"There has been a significant increase in bilateral trade with the removal of tariff barriers," Boodhoo said.

Exports from Mauritius to China increased from 561 million rupees (12.3 million U.S. dollars) in 2020 to 971.9 million rupees (21.35 million dollars) in 2021, up by 73 percent, he said.

"Mauritius benefits from better market access for products of export interest to the Chinese market," he noted. "These include rum, frozen fish, noodles and pasta, special sugar, linen, garments and watches, amongst others."

Meanwhile, Mauritius has imported more diverse products from China, he added. "As per latest figures available, in October 2022, mattresses were China's main exports to Mauritius under preference."

Looking into the future, the Mauritian official said he expects a further increase in his country's exports to China for products like fruit and honey.

Besides, Boodhoo believed the Mauritius-China FTA, the first of its kind between China and an African country, will provide "a basis for enhanced collaboration between China and Mauritius."

Editor: Tian Shenyoujia