China and Mauritius sign Free Trade Agreement
On October 17, 2019, the Chinese Minister of Commerce, Zhong Shan, and The Mauritius Ambassador to China, Andre Lee Hong Chong, signed the “Free Trade Agreement between the government of the People’s Republic of China and the government of the Republic of Mauritius” on behalf of the two governments.
The China-Mauritius Free Trade Agreement is the 17th free trade agreement signed by China and the first free trade agreement between China and African country.
The Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement comprises 17 Chapters encompassing Trade in Goods, Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Competition, Intellectual Property, Electronic Commerce, Trade in Services, Investment, Economic Cooperation, among others.
Mauritius would thus benefit from duty free access on the Chinese market on some 8 547 products, representing 96.3% of the Chinese tariff lines. Consequently, 88% would be eliminated with immediate effect and the remaining tariffs over a five to seven-year period. Mauritius has been granted a Tariff Rate Quota of 50 000 tons of special sugar at an in-quota rate of 15% to be phased in over a period of eight years.
As regards Trade in Services, Mauritius service providers would have access to more than 40 service sectors, including financial services, telecommunications, ICT, professional services, construction and health services. Mauritius would also be able to establish businesses in China as wholly owned entities or in joint partnership with Chinese operators.
Under the Economic Cooperation Chapter of the Agreement, Mauritius and China have agreed to collaborate in ten areas, including industrial development aimed at improving competitiveness, manufacturing based on innovation and research, exchange of specialists and researchers to disseminate know how and for support in technology and innovation and the setting up of a Renminbi Clearing Centre in Mauritius.