KARACHI – The High Commissioner of Mauritius to Pakistan Mohammmad Rashad Daureeawo stated that Mauritius, being a gateway to Africa, has huge scope for Pakistani furniture, textiles, tiles and sanitary ware, carpets and mangoes and these marvelous opportunities must be tapped.

He asserted upon the need to sign MoU between KCCI and Mauritius Chamber of Commerce & Industry for enhanced mutual cooperation to facilitate business communities of two countries.Speaking on the occasion he said that Mauritius wants to further strengthen economic ties with Pakistan through the expansion of already signed Preferential Trade Agreement in various fields.

It is very encouraging that Mauritius-Pakistan Joint Working Groups is now envisaging negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement that hopefully would play very useful role. To establish direct air-link between two countries talks are underway between Air Mauritius and PIA, he informed. If basic visa requirements are completed, Mauritius HC in Islamabad can issue visa in one day, he conversed. Pakistan exports to Mauritius comprise rice, cotton yarn, woven fabric, cotton fabric, bakery items and medicament mixtures while Pakistan imports from Mauritius sugar, food processing items, rubber and wood articles.

He informed that Mauritius tops 2011 World Bank Report Ease of Doing Business Ranking due to soft and encouraging tax regime in the country whereby any foreign company can get registration in just three days.

He enlightened that legal framework for speedy resolution of trade-related disputes arbitration and mediation is very strong in Mauritius that is also a big advantage to the foreign businessmen. The High Commissioner also underscored the need for exchange of business delegations to jack-up bilateral trade and dissemination of trade-related information.

He said since Mauritius is a gateway to African countries therefore offers huge opportunities to Pakistani businessmen desirous of winning those African markets. Pakistani businessmen can export to any African market from Export Zones of Mauritius. He added that Mauritius is an attractive tourist destination therefore any investment of a joint venture would be a win-win situation for both the countries. The country has a population of only 1.3 million but attracts around one million tourists annually due to peaceful and tolerant environment.

President KCCI Muhammad Haroon Agar urged to pave way forward to sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Mauritius. Exchanging views with the High Commissioner of Mauritius to Pakistan, he stated that in 2007 Pakistan and Mauritius signed Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) which allowed hundred tariff lines to be traded between two countries on preferential terms.

The ultimate objective of this PTA is to pave the way for a FTA encompassing almost all products, trade and services. He said that serious efforts are required from both the governments and business communities level to enhance bilateral trade and to double the trade volume between two friendly countries.

He apprised to High Commissioner about the vital role of KCCI in the socio-economic development of Pakistan and to promote trade and industry in Karachi and elsewhere. KCCI can compose a high-level business delegation to Mauritius, he proposed.

He also requested the Ambassador to invite exhibitors to participate in the Karachi Chamber’s My-Karachi Oasis of Harmony Exhibition scheduled to be organized in July 2013. Senior Vice President KCCI Shamim Firpo, Vice President Nasir Mehmood and Managing Committee Members also participated in the meeting.