Ambassador Maheshwar Singh Khemlolive : “Mauritius is the gateway to the markets of Africa, India and China”
Modern Diplomacy has covered the visit of the Mauritian Ambassador to the Russian Federation, (H.E.) Mr. Maheshwar Singh Khemlolive, to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation.
Mr. Maheshwar Singh Khemlolive had discussed about the investment, trade and economic potential of Mauritius and the development of new areas of cooperation with Russia. He expressed satisfaction with the current level of bilateral relations, and suggested that further steps were necessary to deepen the Russia-Mauritius cooperation especially in trade, economic and tourism areas. That is why on September 19th, Moscow has hosted the next presentation of the investment and economic potential of Mauritius, and after that, from November 19th to 23rd, Mauritius will host the 2nd Mauritius-Russian Investment Forum.
An important basis for the economy of Mauritius is the development of tourism, he said, and acknowledged that “a special role in establishing and strengthening mutually beneficial bilateral contacts is played by business associations and Chambers of Commerce and Industry.” He pointed to the fact that strengthening ties with Russia is an important factor for the country’s further development and the trade relations between Mauritius and Russia have great potential. Mauritius is a direct gateway to the markets of Africa, India and China, therefore, Russian business can use this opportunity to establish business ties. Russian investors will find a very comfortable business climate for doing business in Mauritius, Mr. Khemlolive said.
The tourism assets are its main strength backed by well-designed and run hotels, reliable and operational services, and infrastructure, he noted. With this background, the Ambassador described that the ocean economy is seen as the next driver of growth, transforming the small island state into a 1.9 sq. km into an Ocean State. In order to realise this economic goal, seven priority areas have been identified:
- Seabed exploration for hydrocarbon and minerals
- Fishing, seafood processing and aquaculture
- Deep ocean water applications
- Marine services (including marine finance, marine ICT, marine biotechnology and ship registration)
- Seaport-related activities
- Marine renewable energies
- Ocean knowledge cluster
Last November, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Seetanah Lutchmeenaraido, headed a business delegation to a similar forum looking for long-term partnership in high technology, transport, fishing and tourism. At the same time, the delegation show-cased the transition of Mauritius from an offshore financial centre to a full-fledged regional financial hub and promoted investment opportunities across various sectors. It portrayed the island as a strategic platform for structuring investments and managing operations in Africa.
Whether in theory or practice, Russia is prepared to share its technologies and developments in the field of mining, the building of transport infrastructure, in the energy sector, information technology and agriculture. But, Russia is seriously lagging behind in developing trade-economic ties with Africa.