Mauritius will benefit from an FTA with China: experts

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/3 20:13:41

China and Mauritius concluded negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in Beijing on Sunday, which experts said is a breakthrough in Beijing's efforts to build a global free trade network.

According to a statement published on the official website of China's Ministry of Commerce, the negotiations cover a wide range of areas including trade in goods and services, investment and economic cooperation. The talks are "comprehensive, high-level and reciprocal," the statement said.

"The China-Mauritius FTA will be China's first bilateral free trade agreement with an Africa country. The conclusion of the talks is a breakthrough for China to build a global free trade network," said Zhang Jianping, director of the West Asia and Africa Institute under the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

"It sets a great example for other African countries. China is open to signing more free trade agreements with African countries, and Mauritius responded most positively," Zhang said.

The China-proposed Belt and Road (B&R) initiative requires "unimpeded trade" and "financial integration" of countries on the B&R routes. The China-Mauritius FTA will establish the regime and clear obstacles for those goals, noted Deng Yanting, an assistant researcher at the West Asian and African Institute.

Deng said that Mauritius is a fairly developed country, but its economic structure is relatively simple. An FTA with China will not just attract more Chinese tourists to the country, and also attract more investment to boost its economy.

Mauritius is keen on attracting Chinese investment. At present, China has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in Africa. China's increasing investment in Mauritius will drive the development of the African state and will help it establish logistics transit centers and industrial parks, Zhang said.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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