mauritius president highlights cepa with uae positioning mauritius as africas gateway for the middle east wam interview

Mauritius President Highlights CEPA with UAE, Positioning Mauritius as Africa’s Gateway for the Middle East: WAM Interview

DUBAI, 15th February 2024 (WAM) — Prithvirajsing Roopun, the President of Mauritius, expressed his confidence that the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Mauritius and the UAE will play a pivotal role in positioning Mauritius as a gateway to Africa for the Middle East. In an exclusive interview with WAM at the World Governments Summit (WGS) in Dubai, President Roopun emphasized the unanimous belief among top UAE officials that the CEPA will elevate bilateral relations to new heights.

CEPA: Opening Doors to Africa for the Middle East

President Roopun underscored that the benefits of the CEPA extend beyond the UAE and Mauritius, as it will create new opportunities for the entire African continent. By leveraging the provisions of the agreement, Mauritius aims to strengthen its role as a strategic link between Africa and the Middle East, resulting in a mutually beneficial outcome for all stakeholders involved.

Building on a Strong Foundation

The CEPA, which was concluded in December, marks a historic milestone as the first agreement of its kind between the UAE and an African nation. Building upon the solid foundation of nearly five decades of bilateral ties, including the establishment of the Dubai office of the Mauritius Economic Development Board, the CEPA covers various aspects such as trade in goods and services, investment facilitation, and more. 

Accelerating Bilateral Trade Growth

Once implemented, it is anticipated to accelerate robust growth in non-oil bilateral trade between the UAE and Mauritius. As of H1 2023, the bilateral trade volume stood at US$63.1 million, with significant opportunities identified in sectors such as chemicals, metals, and petroleum products.

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Exploring New Avenues for Cooperation

President Roopun highlighted the vast potential for further cooperation in areas such as governance, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Information and Communications Technology (ICT), biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, and the blue economy. He expressed his enthusiasm for the latest trends in AI that he learned from global experts at the WGS, emphasizing the transformative impact of AI across various sectors. President Roopun particularly emphasized its potential in governance, education, and healthcare.

Recognizing the UAE’s role as an emerging global leader, President Roopun commended the country’s support for the voice of the Global South, with particular attention to small island nations like Mauritius. He stressed the urgent need for collective action to address the global challenge of climate change and expressed gratitude for the UAE’s support in tackling this critical issue. President Roopun also lauded the success of the COP28, the UN Climate Conference held in Dubai, as a significant step towards finding concrete solutions to combat climate change.

UAE’s Support for the Global South

President Roopun, who holds a master’s degree in international business law (LLM) from the University of Central Lancashire, has been actively involved in legal education and served as a member of the board of examiners of the Council of Legal Education since 1989. He has also lectured at the Faculty of Law of the University of Mauritius for over fifteen years.

In conclusion, the CEPA between Mauritius and the UAE is poised to strengthen economic ties, create new avenues for collaboration, and position Mauritius as a key gateway connecting Africa with the Middle East. The agreement reflects the shared commitment of both nations to foster bilateral growth, explore emerging technologies, and address global challenges such as climate change.