As a neighbour of Mauritius due to Réunion, France has excellent bilateral relations with the country. A bilateral co-management agreement relating to Tromelin Island and its surrounding maritime areas was signed in June 2010. The ratification process is not yet complete in France. As geographical neighbours, the islands of Réunion and Mauritius have a very close relationship, particularly in terms of cooperation. The Mauritian authorities are planning to open a Consulate General in Réunion.
- 7 September 2018: visit to Paris by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth. Meeting at Matignon with the Prime Minister, Édouard Philippe.
- 11-13 March 2018: visit to Port Louis by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, for the fiftieth anniversary of Mauritius’ independence. Meetings with Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius, and Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo, Mauritian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade.
- 26 November 2017: visit to Paris by Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo, Mauritius’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, for the ministerial conference of the International Organisation of La Francophonie. Meeting with Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
- 29 June 2016: visit to France by Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, Mauritian Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport. Meeting with Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad.
- 30 March 2016: visit to Paris by Ms Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius. Meeting with French President, François Hollande.
France is a major economic actor in Mauritius as it is:
- its third-largest trading partner, with a total volume of €869 million in 2017 (with a surplus for France of €251 million);
- its second-largest customer (behind the United Kingdom), receiving 11.7% of Mauritius’ exports in 2017;
- its fourth-largest supplier (after India, China and South Africa), providing 8% of Mauritian imports in 2017;
- its leading foreign investor (with almost 200 French businesses);
- its leading supplier of tourists (over 420,000 French people out of 1.35 million tourists) in 2017, accounting for 31.3% of tourist arrivals.
Trade between France and Mauritius (€869 million) rose strongly by 37.2% in 2017 compared to the previous year. French exports rose by 60% in one year to reach €560 million, a rise explained primarily by the delivery of two A350-900 aircraft to Air Mauritius. Outside of the aviation industry, our exports increased by 5.1% in 2017 to reach €368 million, mainly through industrial products which totalled €174 million (up 8.6%) and agrifood products which were worth €76 million (up 18%). With a volume of €309 million in 2017, French imports from Mauritius saw an increase of 7.7% compared to 2016 (€287 million). Over the last decade, the balance of trade between the two countries has produced a structural surplus for France, with an average annual amount of around €65 million.
France is Mauritius’ leading bilateral partner for official development assistance. The Agence Française de Développement (AFD, French Development Agency) is Mauritius’ second-largest donor after the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the second-largest donor to loan directly to public companies, behind China. Since the reopening of its branch in 2006, the AFD has made €517 million in gross commitments in Mauritius.
Trade between Réunion and Mauritius (€36 million in 2017) gives a strong trade surplus to Mauritius. In 2017, Réunion’s exports to Mauritius (€7 million) were considerably lower than its 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 (AEFE), France supports a network of very highly regarded French schools in Mauritius (five schools, 5,000 students, two-thirds of whom have Mauritian nationality).