HC advocates signing of FTA between Mauritius, Pakistan

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High Commissioner of Mauritius, Mohammmad Rashad Daureeawo, has said that Mauritius-Pakistan Joint Working Group was considering signing of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries. Speaking at a meeting of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), he said that both the countries had already signed Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA); but aggressive measures were needed to increase the existing low volume of trade and investment.

He also said that negotiations were under way on launching direct flights between the two countries. Daureeawo emphasised the need of signing Memorandum of Undertakings (MoU) between Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry and KCCI for co-operation in different fields. He assured that the Mauritius High Commission could issue visa in just one day if the required documentation was fulfilled.

The High Commissioner said that Pakistan could use Mauritius as a gateway to African countries as huge demand existed for Pakistani furniture, textiles, tiles, sanitary ware, carpets, and mangoes in these countries. "Pakistani can export its products to all African countries from the Export Zones of Mauritius," he added. He said that legal framework for speedy resolution of trade-related disputes, arbitration and mediation was very strong in Mauritius, which he added was a big advantage to foreign businesspeople.

He emphasised the need for frequent exchange of trade delegations and fast dissemination of business and investment information to boost two-way trade and investment. He said that Pakistani students while studying in Mauritius could get a degree from European universities on an economical fee structure.

Speaking on the occasion, President KCCI Muhammad Haroon Agar urged upon the government to pave a way for signing an FTA between Pakistan and Mauritius. He stated that in 2007 Pakistan and Mauritius signed Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), which allowed hundred tariff lines to be traded between the two countries on preferential terms. The ultimate objective of this PTA was to pave a way for an FTA, encompassing almost all products, trade and services, he added.

He said that serious efforts were required on part of the respective governments as well as business communities to enhance bilateral trade between the two friendly countries. "Pakistan and Mauritius can undertake joint ventures in Mauritius Exclusive Economic Zone to extend their trade to various African countries and reciprocally Pakistan could help Mauritius to extend trade from Gwader port to Central Asian Republic, SAARC Block, Middle East and GCC countries," he suggested.

He also requested the HC to invite his country's exhibitors to participate in Karachi Chamber's 'My-Karachi Oasis of Harmony Exhibition', scheduled to be held in July 2013. Senior Vice President KCCI Shamim Firpo, Vice President Nasir Mehmood and Managing Committee members also attended the meeting.

Courtesy: B Recorder

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