GIS - 10 April, 2019: The relations between Mauritius and Kenya date back when the respective countries were struggling for independence. The excellent relations have been enhanced over the years at bilateral level and consolidated by a series of high level meetings and visits during the past years. We look forward to deepening relations in the forthcoming years as we build on our political and economic ties for the benefit of the two nations.
The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this press statement this morning after a working session with the President of the Republic of Kenya, Mr Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, in Port-Louis.
During the working session, six agreements that are the outcome of the deliberations of the first Joint Commission for Cooperation between Mauritius and Kenya were signed, namely : a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA); an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA); a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation for Development of Special Economic Zones and Export Processing Zone in Kenya; a MoU in the field of Tourism; a MoU in the field of Higher Education and Scientific Research; and a MoU in the field of Arts and Culture.
In his statement to the press, Prime Minister Jugnauth underlined that the visit of President Kenyatta is a testimony of the excellent relations that both countries share adding that they are both locked in a mutually beneficial partnership. He expressed gratitude to the Government of Kenya for its support in the country’s battle over the Chagos Archipelago sovereignty. He indicated that during the tête-à-tête and working session he had with the President, he had the opportunity to raise various issues of mutual interest and explore scope for both parties to further enhance their bilateral economic relations.
Speaking about the agreements signed, Prime Minister Jugnauth pointed out that the DTAA and the IPPA are core instruments for the promotion of greater economic cooperation and protection of investments between the two countries. He added that the signature of the agreements on Special Economic Zone will lead to the setting up of a conducive framework towards developing centers that will enhance economic development and create employment opportunities. He further indicated that both parties have agreed to pursue consultations as regards the establishment of a MoU on Mutual Legal Assistance, an agreement on the transfer of prisoners, and an Extradition Treaty.
Moreover, Mr Jugnauth underlined that Kenya’s position as an economic powerhouse in the East Africa Region is one of the main trading partners of Mauritius, hence marking a new era as Mauritius seeks to work out strategies to tap into the full trade potential and develop joint agro-based industries. He highlighted that Mauritius will import more commodities from Kenya and improve collaboration and trade in different types of sugar. As regards regional issues, both countries are committed to combine their efforts to tackle internal security issues on matters relating to terrorism, maritime security, illegal fishing, illicit trafficking and drug trafficking, he stated.
For his part, the President of the Republic of Kenya, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, said that this important and historical state visit will help strengthen the brotherly bilateral ties between the two countries that are essentially anchored in shared values and principles, similar aspirations of sustained growth and shared prosperity. Both countries, he added, are well-placed for championing development and through this enhanced collaboration, will have an opportunity to work together and build strategic cooperation and derive fruitful outcomes.
President Kenyatta pointed out that during bilateral talks with Prime Minister Jugnauth, both parties discussed avenues to explore the opportunity for expansion of bilateral cooperation with the view of enhancing cordial relations between the two countries. Discussions focused on expanding opportunities of trade and investment in key sectors including culture, transport, agricultural, education and tourism. He also noted that Mauritius and Kenya are endowed with marine resources and highlighted the need of ensuring the sustainable use of these resources. He also emphasised the importance of enhancing partnership on maritime transport by linking Port-Louis to Port Mombasa as a catalyst for growing business and trade.
According to the President, the six agreements signed between the two countries in critical areas will deepen the partnership between both countries. Kenya, he said, is encouraging more potential Mauritian investors to tap in business opportunities and in this regard, will make provision for facilities and services. He observed that Kenya takes cognizance of Mauritius’ strategic importance in the Indian Ocean to lead as chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, and its stand as regards the fight against money laundering, maritime piracy and drug trafficking. He expressed gratitude as regards the support of the Government of Mauritius given to Kenya’s candidature for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council 2021-2022, adding that Kenya’s desire to be a member of the Council emanates from its aim to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security.
Speaking about Mauritius’s ongoing battle for the Chagos Archipelago sovereignty, the President reiterated Kenya’s unflinching support, as it firmly believes in the fierce protection of sovereign and territorial integrity.
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