Emerging Pakistan-Mauritius Maritime Relations
A new dynamism is needed in maritime relations and trade exchanges between Pakistan and Mauritius, says the Mauritian High Commissioner in Pakistan, Soobadar Rashidally. Mauritius has had diplomatic relations with Pakistan since 1968, soon after its independence, but the two countries do not have much joint economic activity even though there is a Pakistani diaspora there.
Rashidally met with Dr. Syed Mohammed Anwer, President of the Maritime Study Forum, in Islamabad on September 3 to discuss mutual interests between two countries. In addition to trade and economic ties, discussions focused on how the maritime expertise of Mauritius could be used by Pakistan as a bridge for investment in Africa.
Mauritius has recently started to promote itself as the "Singapore of Africa," and it has developed special economic zones for oversea investors to facilitate access to African markets after some value addition to their products in Mauritius. “Mauritius aspires to play a strategic role between Asia and Africa,” Rashidally said. “To that end, it can offer several opportunities to Pakistani enterprises which have started or are considering beginning activities in the continent.”
The high commissioner also emphasized the importance of giving a new impetus to cooperation in maritime tourism services. Mauritius has expertise in the hospitality industry, and Pakistan has plans to promote its maritime and coastal tourism industry. “Mauritius is an ideal country for Pakistan to have closer relations with, especially after the development of Gwadar Port in the far west and China's enhanced investment in that port under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project,” says Anwer.
The Maritime Study Forum hopes to provide a common platform for the maritime-related communities of the two countries to develop joint economic opportunities.
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.