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Speech by her Excellency the President of...
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Port Louis, Mauritius, 28th April 2011


Distinguished Guests, 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I am glad to have this opportunity to interact with the captains of industry of India and Mauritius, during my stay in this beautiful country. This is my first visit to Mauritius, and I am convinced that there exist many opportunities for co-operation in the economic and commercial fields. 

Over the last three days, I have had the opportunity to discuss various issues of bilateral and regional importance with the leadership of Mauritius. We have a shared goal to further strengthen our deep and enduring friendship. Our ties are multi-dimensional and we hope to intensify our engagement in various mutually beneficial fields. 

As a friend and well-wisher of Mauritius, we in India, are deeply impressed with the continued adherence and commitment to democratic ideals, and in ensuring the welfare and development of all your countrymen. Mauritius has demonstrated the vibrancy of its economy and its resilience, by withstanding the fall-out of the global financial crisis. The Indian economy also faced the global financial meltdown with alacrity and persisted with a high growth trajectory. Today, it is not only one of the major economies of the world, but it is also one of the fastest growing. We have in place an ambitious programme for the expansion of our social and infrastructure sectors. The economy which touched a growth rate of 8.5 percent last year is expected to be further strengthened, and we hope to clock a 9 percent growth rate this year. A large and a growing economy offers many opportunities for other countries as well. 

India has been the largest source of imports of goods and services for Mauritius. India has participated in various developmental activities and infrastructure projects in Mauritius. These are effectively visible all over the island. There is a strong presence of several Indian Public Sector Undertakings in Mauritius over the last many years. These PSUs have contributed to various activities in Mauritius, both directly and indirectly, through their participation in Corporate Social Responsibility and other related activities. The Indian private sector also has been equally active in Mauritius through investments in some of the major sectors in your country as in the health, hospitality, pharmaceuticals, education, financial services, IT and BPO sectors among others. We see economic complementarities between our two countries. The agriculture, fisheries and tourism sectors provide opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation. India's capabilities in the services sector and the knowledge economy are well recognized. 

While political relations between India and Mauritius are close, our bilateral cooperation in the economic and commercial areas needs to be further reinvigorated, given the large untapped potential. Our two Governments have been keenly interested in providing for an environment which is conducive for business. The framework in this regard exists through the many agreements signed over the years. Both countries are also committed to continue to work together, to create a business environment for greater trade and investment flows. The need for a level playing field becomes significant in this regard, along with addressing other attendant pre-requisites which would encourage business to consider opportunities to invest. 

The Indian business delegation present here should, alongwith Mauritian businesses, explore business opportunities and seek to establish business contacts with commercial and industrial houses. I encourage greater and more frequent exchange of ideas and interaction between Chambers and business leaders of the two countries. This can be the only way to move ahead, to ensure that we understand and appreciate each other, in surmounting the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities. 

I am confident that an accelerated development of economic and commercial ties will become the principal component of the India-Mauritius strategic partnership in the 21st Century. This will not only develop and strengthen the strong and enduring areas of partnership, but will also enhance and promote the socio-economic advancement of our peoples. 

I wish your deliberations all success. 

Thank you.


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