India, Mauritius to discuss revival of FTA, two-way investments today
Top officials from India and Mauritius will meet in Port Louis this week to discuss revival of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations that were suspended three years ago by New Delhi. The talks were suspended to build pressure on Mauritius to expedite the double taxation avoidance agreement. Deliberations on two-way investment opportunities will also take place in sectors such as telecom, construction services and hotels & tourism, a government official told BusinessLine.
“Building stronger economic ties with Mauritius, which is a relatively small country compared to India, has its strategic importance as well because of its location in the Indian Ocean. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office are also keen that bilateral relations get strengthened,” the official added.
Ease of rules
A delegation comprising senior officials from the Departments of Commerce, Telecom & IT and Industrial Policy & Promotion will hold discussions with their Mauritius counterparts and business representatives on trade and investment opportunities during the meeting from September 12 to 14. Mauritius wants talks on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA), that would include free trade in goods and services as well as ease of investment rules, to be revived now that the DTAA has been reviewed, the official said.
India and Mauritius signed the revised DTAA this May which gives India the right to tax capital gains arising from sale or transfer of shares of an Indian company acquired by a Mauritian tax resident from April 1, 2017. Investment flow from Mauritius, which is one of India’s top FDI destination, is expected to slow down once the taxation provisions are fully in place by 2019 because of a fall in investments routed through the country by third countries such as the US and UAE. However, India wants to do its bit in attracting more investments directly from Mauritius.
“Our delegation will try to attract investments from Mauritius in various sectors and also scout for investment opportunities there. We would be presenting a shelf of projects for potential investments from Mauritius in the areas of telecom, construction services, hotels & tourism and software and hardware,” the official said.
On the trade front, while India expects to gain more in services from the proposed FTA, it could also reap some advantages in the area of goods by expanding its trade basket beyond petroleum products.