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India, Mauritius to hold next round of FTA talks from Wednesday

PTI | Updated on: 25 Sep 2018, 04:15:50 PM
India, Mauritius to hold next round of FTA talks from Wednesday (Representational Image)

New Delhi:

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.

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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.

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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.

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First Published : 25 Sep 2018, 04:15:25 PM