Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mauritius determined to conclude trade agreement with Europe

APA-Port Louis (Mauritius) Mauritius is determined to conclude an ambitious Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union as it is its main economic and trade partner, Mauritius Foreign Secretary Anand Neewoor said on Thursday.

Addressing participants at a workshop on trade in services for Eastern and Southern African countries in the capital Port Louis, he said Mauritius views the EPA negotiations as a boost to improve the business climate in Mauritius.

He said that the broad objective of the workshop is to ensure capacity building in preparing for the services negotiated under the EPA.

The workshop will also aim at identifying market access opportunities in the EU.

The workshop will also discuss the political direction of the EU and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in the trade in services negotiations of the World Trade Organization, Newoor said.

He said Mauritius is putting more emphasis on the services sector which has the potential of creating more quality jobs.

He pointed out that measures have been taken for the development of that sector, including the establishment of a multi-disciplinary regional centre of excellence.

He said the location of the COMESA Fund in Mauritius, the setting up of a Commodity Exchange and the country’s connection to the SEGA-NET, an inter-island connectivity network, are a means to boosting the credibility of the country as a regional financial centre.