India and Mauritius will hold the next round of negotiations from Wednesday for the proposed free trade agreement (FTA), which is aimed at liberalising norms to boost two-way commerce and investments.
The three-day talks for the agreement, which is officially dubbed as the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA), will start from Wednesday, a government official said.
During the deliberations, both the sides would discuss issues related to trade in goods and services.
In an FTA, two trading partners cut or eliminate duties on majority of goods besides liberalising norms to promote services trade and boost investments.
According to experts, India may not get a substantial benefit in the goods sector as Mauritius is a small market, but services sectors such as IT and tourism hold huge potential to enhance economic ties.
Interestingly, Mauritius is also holding negotiations for a similar pact with China, with which India has a huge trade deficit. The trade gap was $ 63 billion in 2017-18.
The island nation is the top source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into India. In 2017-18, India received $ 15.94 billion as compared to $ 15.73 billion in the previous financial year.
The bilateral trade between the countries increased to $ 1.1 billion in 2017-18 from $ 900 million in 2016-17.
India exports petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, cereals, cotton and electrical machinery, among others, to Mauritius. The island nation exports to New Delhi include iron and steel, pearls and precious/semi-precious stones.