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Mauritius may be emerging as India’s ‘favourite’ African partner

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The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs is organizing the first edition of  India – Africa Agriculture & Food Processing Summit on 14-15 September 2021. The Summit aims to strengthen India-Africa cooperation in the agri-business sector and how this collaboration can address the rising global demand for food security and nutrition.

Focus countries for the Summit include Mauritius.

This initiative aims to deepen the existing cooperation between India and Africa in farm mechanization, Irrigation solutions, food processing, and value addition, inputs, nutrients, agrochemicals and agricultural research & development, and capacity building.

According to World Bank, Africa’s food market growth is estimated worth US$ 1 trillion by 2030. This translates to twice as much demand for food by 2050 in Africa. The combination of this trend with Africa’s food import bill leverages an estimated US$ 30–50 billion, indicating an opportunity for Indian industry to capture this space and also Africa’s farmers to grow their agri-business.

With African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) gaining ground, the signing of CECPA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement) with Mauritius Indian Industry has immense opportunities to expand their engagement with Africa.

The CECPA came into effect from April 1. 310 export items for India have been included in this agreement.

The High Commissioner of India in Mauritius, Mrs. Nandini Singla has said that India can propel Mauritius as the major business platform for India’s investments and business projects into African countries and vice-versa. She added that emerging African economies will be a high-potential opportunity  for the two countries.

Earlier this week, India’s Ministry of Commerce notified duty rate quotas (TRQs) and procedure for imports from Mauritius for certain items.

The items which are allowed to be imported under TRQ include Pineapple – 1000 tonnes with 30 per cent duty, 250 tonnes of litchi with 10 per cent duty, Tuna seven thousand tonnes at zero duty, 2 million liters of malt made beer at 25% duty, Rum at zero duty comprises 1.5 million liters.

The DGFT has said that the application should also be accompanied by a pre-purchase agreement with the eligible Mauritius exporter of the specified goods.

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