Mauritius and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have concluded negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr. Maneesh Gobin, and the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, signed a Joint Declaration on Friday 22 December 2023 at the Caudan Arts Centre in Port Louis.
The signing of this Joint Declaration marks the successful conclusion of two rounds of CEPA negotiations. The first round took place in Mauritius from 4 to 6 September 2023 and covered a wide range of topics, including trade in goods, trade in services, rules of origin, customs procedures and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, economic cooperation, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), digital trade and commercial remedies.
Following this, a series of meetings were convened to further delve into these discussions. The second round of negotiations was held in the United Arab Emirates from 20 to 21 November 2023.
After a series of intersessional talks and virtual meetings, both parties successfully concluded the following chapters within the agreement: trade in goods, trade in services, economic cooperation, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary rules, e-commerce, support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), trade remedies, investment facilitation, public procurement, exemption clauses, final provisions of the agreement, and the administration of CEPA. These advances open up new avenues of economic collaboration between Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates, paving the way for promising economic and commercial opportunities for both countries.
“We are confident that CEPA can help improve the business climate and remove existing barriers to trade in goods, services and investment. In addition, the first CEPA between the United Arab Emirates and an African country will play a crucial role in joint venture creation, the mobility of professionals and in the strategy of the two countries for their participation in the value chains,” Minister Maneesh Gobin said.
He believes that, since the two countries have a strongly services-based economy, this agreement will help promote exchanges in the services industries, namely in finance.
“This economic partnership agreement opens up new horizons for trade, as well as in the logistics, tourism, health and hospitality sectors,” the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade observed.
Minister Maneesh Gobin recalled the contribution of the United Arab Emirates to the economic development of Mauritius, with a particular emphasis on their valuable contribution to the tourism sector, exemplified by the Emirates Airlines’ air services.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mauritius.