France and Mauritius

Political relations

As a neighbouring country owing to the proximity of Réunion Island, France maintains excellent bilateral relations with Mauritius. In June 2010, the two countries signed a bilateral “Framework Agreement on Economic, Scientific and Environmental Co-management relating to Tromelin Island and Its Surrounding Maritime Areas”. The ratification process has not been completed in France. The neighbouring islands of Réunion and Mauritius have extremely close relations, especially with regard to cooperation. The Mauritian authorities plan to open a consulate general in Réunion.

Visits

  • 29 June 2016: visit to France by the Hon. Nandcoomar Bodha, Mauritian Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport. Met with Matthias Fekl, French Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad.
  • 30 March 2016: visit to Paris by Ms Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius. Met with the French President, François Hollande.
  • 30 September 2015: visit to Paris by Xavier-Luc Duval, Mauritian Deputy Prime Minister.

Economic relations

France is a major economic player in Mauritius as it is:

  • its third-largest trading partner with a trade volume of €633 million in 2016 (balance of €65 million in France’s favour);
  • its second-largest customer (after the United Kingdom), accounting for 11.5% of Mauritian exports in 2016;
  • its third-largest supplier (after India and China) with 8% of Mauritian imports in 2016;
  • its leading foreign investor (with more than 170 subsidiaries and joint ventures);
  • its main source of tourists (around 420,000 French people out of 1.3 million tourists in 2016), i.e. 33% of all tourist arrivals;
  • its second-largest bilateral donor (after China), through the French Development Agency (AFD), which has totalled €586 million in gross commitments in Mauritius since the AFD reopened in 2007.

Trade between Réunion and Mauritius (€34 million in 2016) is strongly unbalanced in favour of the latter. In 2016, Réunion exports to Mauritius (€5 million) were much lower than Réunion imports from Mauritius (€29 million).

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

France is working proactively in the area of training, education, higher education and research, with inter-university cooperation and grant programmes. In addition, through the Agency for French Education Abroad, France supports a network of very highly regarded French schools in Mauritius (five schools, 5,000 students, two-thirds of whom have Mauritian nationality).

Updated: 29 May 2017

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