Mauritius

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France and Mauritius

Political relations

As a neighbouring country owing to the proximity of La 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. The islands of La Réunion and Mauritius are close together and maintain a very strong relationship, particularly in terms of cooperation. The authorities of Mauritius are considering the opening of a Consulate General on La Réunion.

Visits

  • 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 Mr 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. Meeting with the French President, François Hollande.
  • 30 September 2015: visit to Paris by Deputy Prime Minister, Xavier-Luc Duval.

Economic relations

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 (behind India and China), providing 8% of Mauritius’ imports in 2017;
  • its leading foreign investor (with more than 185 French subsidiaries and joint ventures);
  • its leading provider of tourists (around 420,000 French people out of 1.35 million visitors) in 2017, representing 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 the aeronautical sector, our exports rose by 5.1% in 2017 to €368 million, driven first and foremost by industrial products (€174 million, +8.6%) and agrifood products (€76 million, +18%). With a volume of €309 million in 2017, French imports from Mauritius recorded an increase of 7.7% (€287 million in 2016). 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 La Réunion and Mauritius (€36 million in 2017) gives a strong trade surplus to Mauritius. In 2017, La 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).

Updated: 22 June 2018