In the process of finalising trade pact with Mauritius: Piyush Goyal

Economy


New Delhi: Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said India is in the process of finalising the proposed free trade pact with Mauritius.

The proposed India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) seeks to mutually benefit both the countries in the area of trade in goods and services, he said.

“At present, we have a number of different comprehensive partnership arrangements with countries around the world and we are in the process of finalising a CECPA with Mauritius,” Goyal said at CII-EXIM Bank Digital Conclave on India Africa project partnership.

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He also said that recently India and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) have decided for early resumption of negotiations for a preferential trading agreement.

The SACU consists of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland.

Goyal said that India will continue to support Africa through lines of credit in priority sectors such as agriculture, irrigation, health, digital technology, power plants, transmission lines, and rail infrastructure.

As of June 2020, India has committed $12.7 billion for 40 countries in Africa on highly favourable terms, he added.

The bilateral trade, he said, grew from about $7 billion to nearly $67 billion in the last 20 years and “it has the tremendous potential for further growth in the years to come”.

India so far is the fifth largest investor in African continent with cumulative investment of over $54 billion in the last few years in areas like oil and gas, mining, banking, and textiles.

“There is a huge scope for manifold increase in Indian investments in the wake of the African Continental free trade agreement (AFCTA),” he said highlighting mutual benefit that can be gained through establishment of India-Africa value chains in areas such as textiles, pharma, auto, agro processing and information and communication technology.



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