New Delhi: The proposed free trade agreement between India and Mauritius is nearing finalisation as both the sides have concluded the negotiations for the pact, the commerce ministry said on Wednesday. The proposed India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) seeks to mutually benefit both the countries in the area of trade in goods and services, it said in a statement. Negotiations were held across several sectors including goods, services, rules of origin, technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade remedies and dispute settlement. "India-Mauritius CECPA negotiations for trade in goods and trade in services, have been completed. The agreement is near finalisation," it said. In a free trade agreement, two trading partners cut or eliminate duties on the majority of goods besides liberalising norms to promote services, trade and boost investments. Mauritius was the second top source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into India in 2018-19. India received USD 8 billion (about Rs 56,000 crore) foreign inflows from the country. The bilateral trade between the countries increased marginally to USD 1.2 billion in 2018-19 from USD 1.1 billion in 2017-18. India exports petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, cereals, cotton and electrical machinery, apparel and clothing accessories to Mauritius. The island nation's exports to New Delhi include iron and steel, pearls, precious/semi-precious stones and optical, photographic and precision instruments. It also said that in order to promote India-Africa trade and economic relations, the ministry regularly reviews trade ties through institutional mechanisms like Joint Commission Meetings, Joint Trade Committees and Joint Working Groups.
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