ISLAMABAD : The High Commissioner of Mauritius to Pakistan, Rashidally Soobadar on Thursday said that both the countries should enter into a free trade agreement to further bolster the bilateral relations for the mutual benefits. He expressed these views while addressing a lecture on ‘Trade and Tourism between Mauritius and Pakistan’ organized by the Preston University in collaboration with Society of Global Civilizations (SGC). The event was attended by the guests of SGC and senior faculty, management and students of Preston University while High Commissioner of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to Pakistan Nordeen Mohammed Shaheid was also present on the occasion. In his talk on ‘Trade and Tourism between Mauritius and Pakistan’, High Commissioner Rashidally Soobadar, highlighting the current status of trade between Mauritius and Pakistan, said that the current volume of trade between the two countries did not match their true potential.

He emphasized that there is a need for increasing economic and trade relations to further promote bilateral cooperation between the two brotherly countries.

Briefly unfolding the history of Mauritius, Rashidally Soobadar said the country is an island state that has 1.2 million population. He noted that since independence in 1968, the country has grown gradually as seen from its GDP that has grown from $200 to over $11,000.

The country aspires to achieve the GDP of $20,000 by 2030. He also highlighted a number of socio-cultural and historical aspects of Mauritius that proudly boasts of 100 percent literacy rate and offers free education till college level.

He said Mauritius is a multicultural and multi-ethnic society where people believe in peaceful cohabitation. To support this fact, he said, that the biggest mosque in Mauritius is situated in the Chinese neighborhood.

In the context of tourism, he informed that the country has a booming tourism industry. Last year alone, 1.5 million tourists visited Mauritius. He said that there was tremendous potential for promotion of tourism between Mauritius and Pakistan.

He said this vital area could be exploited to its true potential for the mutual economic benefit of the two countries. Soobadar further said that it would be a pleasure for the Mauritian government to help Pakistan in boosting its tourism industry.

Highlighting the country’s focus for development, the High Commissioner mentioned Information Technology, FinTech Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence. He disclosed that the Mauritian government is at present focused on Blue Economy and has established exclusive economic zones to facilitate foreign investors.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Chancellor Preston University Dr. Abdul Basit and Patron Society of Global Civilizations expressed sincere gratitude to Mauritius High Commissioner Rashidally Soobadar for deliberating on a vital subject.

Briefly talking about the Society of Global Civilizations (SGS), Dr Basit said SGC was created in 2016 with the expressed intent of studying and understanding the culture and civilizations of the global societies to promote peace, mutual understanding and respect in today’s turmoil-ridden world.

He said SGC, since its creation, has been organizing seminars, workshops and study tours of different countries to attain this vital objective.

Later, as a token of gratitude, a shield of the university was presented to the guest speaker Mr. Rashidally Soobadar by DR. Abdul Basit.