As a neighbouring country owing to the proximity of Réunion, France maintains friendly and close relations with Mauritius. 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. Geographically neighbours, the “sister islands” of Réunion and Mauritius maintain a very strong relationship, particularly in terms of cooperation. A branch of the region of Réunion has been established in Ébène.
- 23 October 2019: visit to Réunion of Sir Anerood Jugnauth, Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence and de Rodrigues, at the Choose La Réunion Forum.
- 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 the Republic; and Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo, 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 Nandcoomar Bodha, Mauritian Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport. Meeting 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 Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius. Met with the 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 €669.6 million in 2018 (with a surplus for France of €140.3 million);
- its leading customer (behind the United Kingdom), receiving 14% of Mauritius’ exports in 2018;
- its fourth-largest supplier (after India, China and South Africa), providing 8.2% of Mauritian imports in 2018;
- 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.
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 net 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. Through the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE), France supports a network of very highly regarded French schools in Mauritius (five schools, 5,000 pupils, two-thirds of whom have Mauritian nationality). In line with the Ouagadougou speech, France also supports the establishment of Grandes Écoles Françaises in Port Louis.