Update to the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA)
At the High Powered Joint Trade Committee held at the beginning of August 2022 in India, Mauritius and India have agreed to the inclusion of the General Economic Cooperation Chapter and the Automatic Trigger Safeguard Mechanism under the CECPA.
Under the Chapter on Economic Cooperation, both countries have agreed to enhance their collaboration in some 25 sectors such as pharmaceuticals, agro-industry, SMEs, manufacturing, ocean economy, ICT and financial services. The Economic Cooperation Chapter also has a regional dimension as it provides a framework for Indian investors to use Mauritius as a gateway for production and subsequent export to the SADC and COMESA markets to which Mauritius is a party.
The Trigger Safeguard Mechanism will cover a limited number of highly sensitive products and will be effective for a period of 2 years within the signing of the agreement. Under this mechanism, if highly sensitive products are imported at a alarming rate, the exporting country can impose a safeguard on these products with the objective of protecting its domestic market.
It will be recalled that the CECPA, which came into effect on 1 April 2021, was the first trade agreement that India signed with an African country, and it further consolidates the excellent bilateral ties between Mauritius and India. It provides Mauritian exporters with preferential market access into India on a list of +600 products. On the other hand, Mauritius will provide preferential access to India on +300 products, with Tariff Rate Quotas on 88 products such as spices, tea, plastic articles, wooden furniture, parts of motor vehicles, amongst others. To benefit from the CECPA, importers and exporters are required to meet the rules of origin requirements and to submit the certificate of origin or origin declaration.