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Move to amend India-Mauritius Trade Pact over fears of ‘surge in imports’

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Move to amend India-Mauritius Trade Pact over fears of 'surge in imports'

Just over a year after its signature, pressure is on to amend the much heralded India-Mauritius trade agreement in order to include “safeguard mechanism” related provisions to protect the Indian industry from a sudden or unusual surge in imports of Mauritian goods.

India and Mauritius signed the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA), a kind of free trade pact, on February 22, 2021. It came into force on April 1, 2021.

A safeguard mechanism comes into play when there is a sudden increase in imports of any commodity, which can impact Indian industry and under that provision, concessional customs duty on that particular good is replaced with existing taxes.

The mechanism also includes stricter rules of origin to prevent any routing of products from a third country.

According to several Indian media, the finalisation of both these issues – inclusion of safeguard mechanism and general economic cooperation in the pact – would require approval from the Union Cabinet.

According to syndicated News feeds, the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry has sought views of local different ministries on the matter, after which it would approach the Cabinet.

Several Indian products, including textiles and chemicals, are enjoying the benefit of greater market access at concessional duties in Mauritius under the agreement.

The pact covers 310 export items for India, such as food and beverages, agricultural products, textile and textile articles, base metals, electrical and electronic items, plastics and chemicals, and wood.

Move to amend India-Mauritius Trade Pact over fears of 'surge in imports'
The one-in-a-kind pact was signed in February 1, 2022. on February 22, 2021. It came into force on April 1, 2021.

Mauritius has benefited from preferential market access into India for its 615 products, including frozen fish, speciality sugar, biscuits, fresh fruits, juices, mineral water, beer, alcoholic drinks, soaps, bags, medical and surgical equipment and apparel.

The current pact is a limited agreement, which covers trade in goods, rules of origin, trade in services, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, dispute settlement, movement of natural persons, telecom, financial services, and customs procedures.

CECPA is the first trade agreement signed by India with a country in Africa.

India’s exports in April-February 2021-22 to Mauritius stood at USD 666.44 million, while imports were at USD 64.83 million.

With inputs from Economic Times, Syndicated News Feeds

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The information and opinions expressed in our published works are those of authors/sources believed to be reliable. NewsMoris makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information expressed.