EAC, Mauritius for stronger trade ties

Monday July 18 2016

By Zephania Ubwani @ubwanizg3 news@tz.nationmedia.com

Arusha. East African Community (EAC) is exploring investment and business opportunities with Mauritius, an Indian Ocean state that is famous for sugar exports and lately development in technological innovations.

In order to initiate the collaboration, Enterprise Mauritius is set to organize a visit and an exhibition to the EAC in October this year in which over 15 key manufacturers from the archipelago will participate.

This was revealed here after last week’s visit to Mauritius by EAC Secretary General Liberat Mfumukeko during which he seized the opportunity to market the bloc to the Mauritius private sector stakeholders, including the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry and another one responsible for agriculture.

He also conferred with senior officials of Enterprise Mauritius, Mauritius Investment Authority, Business Mauritius and Mauritius Export Association. Mauritius exports 400,000 tonnes of sugar annually.

“All stakeholders met expressed the need to explore investment and business opportunities between Mauritius and the EAC partner states,” said Mr Owora Richard-Othieno, the spokesperson of the community and head of the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department.

He said the Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture and several other private sector players expressed their readiness to penetrate the EAC market and urged Mr Mfumukeko to link them with the East African Business Council (EABC), the private arm of EAC, “in order to strengthen collaboration in trade, investment and mutual cooperation”.

It emerged during the visit that the Mauritius Board of Investment has also invited the Investment Promotion Authorities/Agencies in the EAC member countries for a Networking Conference to be held in the island state on September 20 and 21, this year.

To cement the collaboration, the Mauritius Private Sector has expressed the need to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the EAC. The Africa Centre of Excellence for Business (ACEB) has pledged to develop an EAC Handbook on Opportunities that will serve as a marketing tool to underpin the collaboration.

The EAC boss also visited the headquarters of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), a regional integration organization that has membership of Mauritius, Comoros, Seychelles, Madagascar and France.