India-Mauritius Relations

GS-2 Mains : IR

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

Question : Discuss the objectives and significance of India’s SAGAR Initiative in the context of maritime security and cooperation in the Indian Ocean region, with a specific focus on its implications for India-Mauritius relations.

Overview

  • Close, long-standing relations between India and Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean.
  • Established diplomatic relations in 1948.
  • Strong cultural ties: 70% of Mauritius population is of Indian origin.

Commercial Relations

  • India is Mauritius’ largest trading partner since 2005.
  • Total trade in FY 2022-2023: $554.19 million.
  • Significant FDI from Mauritius to India (over $161 billion in 2000-2022).
  • Enabled by Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAC) signed in 1982.
  • Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) signed in 2021 (India’s first trade agreement with an African country).

Defence Relations

  • India is the preferred defence partner for Mauritius.
  • Agreements include:
    • Transfer of Dornier and Dhruv aircraft on lease.
    • $100 million Line of Credit for defence equipment procurement.

SAGAR Initiative

  • Security and Growth for All in the Region.
  • Maritime initiative for peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indian Ocean region.

Areas of Concern

  • Tax Treaty Misuse:Potential misuse of DTAC for money laundering and round-tripping of funds.
  • Security Concerns:Evolving regional dynamics challenge India-Mauritius defence partnership.
  • Economic Challenges:Trade imbalance and need for trade basket diversification.
  • China’s Presence:China’s growing influence in Africa and the Indian Ocean through trade agreements (e.g., FTA with Mauritius in 2021).

Way Ahead

  • Continued collaboration in various fields: infrastructure, FinTech, culture, etc.
  • India must strengthen its engagement with Mauritius to counter China’s influence.

 

 

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