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South Africa And Mauritius Sign Economic Cooperation Agreement

by Robert Lee,, London

16 February 2009

South African Minister of Trade and Industry, Mandisi Mpahlwa, has urged South African investors to take advantage of opportunities in Mauritius following the recent signature of an economic cooperation agreement.

“I would like to appeal to South African business here today, that the South African government has made serious attempts at creating a proper environment for outward-investments towards the continent and Mauritius in particular," Mpahlwa said during the signing ceremony in Cape Town on February 5.

"For example, the amount of foreign investment allowed for South African companies is ZAR750m (USD74.6m) per approved investment in the SADC (South African Development Community ) region, which applies to the rest of the continent, compared to ZAR500m allowed to countries outside the continent. This demonstrates the seriousness in which our government views its role in Africa. We, therefore, encourage South African business to follow suit,” he explained.

Mpahlwa added that South Africa and Mauritius, as members of SADC, had committed themselves to the harmonisation of standards and the fast-tracking of industrialisation in the region. The MoU on Economic Co-operation would, he said, provide a tangible framework for action in this regard.

“The South African government, through the Department of Trade and Industry has adopted a bilateral strategy for economic engagement with the government of Mauritius, in line with the partnership strategy we have adopted for the continent. The main objective of this strategy is to achieve mutual economic growth and development through outward-investment facilitation, infrastructure development and trade liberalisation,” Mpahlwa observed.

According to the South African DTI, with the signing of the MoU, the two governments have agreed to:

  • Further strengthen and deepen their friendly relations;
  • Find new approaches and strategies of consolidating, expanding and deepening areas of economic development, industrial and trade co-operation, with specific focus on economic empowerment;
  • Vigorously promote investment and intensify efforts to promote trade between the two countries, with a view to expanding the volume of trade and reducing the trade imbalance, which is currently in favour of South Africa;
  • Identify strategic infrastructure development projects, in order to enhance the competitiveness of Mauritius;
  • Develop industrial and technological co-operation between private sector enterprises and organisations of both countries; and
  • Encourage and facilitate strategic alliances between institutions of both countries in the field of human resource development, science and research, and higher learning.

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