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Mauritius - Foreign Relations

Mauritius has traditionally had close economic links with South Africa, France and India. China has also become a key economic partner in recent years. Mauritius was instrumental in setting up the Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC). As a member of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group it took a leading role in the ACP/EU negotiations leading to the Cotonou Agreement.

Mauritius is also a member of the Indian Ocean Commission which promotes co-operation between the islands of the African Union (AU), Indian Ocean. It has links with many African countries through its membership of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). In addition to Mauritius' membership of the Commonwealth, its bilingual culture is reflected in its membership of La Francophonie. Mauritius successfully hosted the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Business Forum in January 2003, the first round of negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and Eastern and Southern Africa States (ESA) in February 2004, and the UNs Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) conference in January 2005.

Mauritius has strong and friendly relations with the West as well as with India and the countries of southern and eastern Africa. It is a member of the African Union (AU), World Trade Organization (WTO), the Commonwealth, La Francophonie, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Indian Ocean Commission, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the Indian Ocean Rim Association.

Trade, commitment to democracy, colonial and cultural ties, and the country's small size are driving forces behind Mauritian foreign policy. The country's political heritage and dependence on Western markets have led to close ties with the European Union and its member states, particularly the United Kingdom and France, which exercises sovereignty over neighboring Reunion.

Considered part of Africa geographically, Mauritius has friendly relations with other African states in the region, particularly South Africa, by far its largest continental trading partner. Mauritian investors have gradually begun entering African markets, such as nearby Madagascar and Mozambique (though the pace of investment in Madagascar has cooled considerably since the 2009 coup detat in that country). Mauritius coordinates much of its foreign policy with the Southern African Development Community and the African Union.

Relations with India are strong for both historical and commercial reasons. Foreign embassies in Mauritius include Australia, China, Egypt, France, India, Libya, Madagascar, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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Page last modified: 09-08-2017 14:03:09 ZULU