India and Mauritius have agreed to include provisions related to the automatic trigger safeguard mechanism in their trade pact to deal with a sudden increase in imports, the commerce ministry said on Thursday.
Both sides have also held deliberations to establish equivalence in certification, skills and licensing requirements of various professional bodies, and explore collaboration and cooperation arrangements between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and its counterpart in Mauritius on developing skill sets.
These matters were discussed during the first meeting of the High-Powered Joint Trade Committee on August 1-3. Senior officials from both sides attended the meeting.
The committee was constituted as per the mandate of the India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) to review the functioning of the trade pact.
It came into force on April 1, 2021. ''Both sides agreed to the inclusion of the General Economic Cooperation (GEC) chapter and Automatic Trigger Safeguard Mechanism (ATSM) in CECPA,'' the ministry said. It was agreed by the countries to negotiate this mechanism for a limited number of highly sensitive products within two years of the signing of the agreement.
Under this, if the imports of these products increase at an alarming rate, then after reaching a certain threshold, a country can impose safeguard duties on those items to protect domestic players. The GEC chapter will enable the enhancement of export competitiveness and enlarge the existing scope for collaboration in the fields of investments, financial services, textile, SMEs, information and communication technology, film production, space technology and blue economy.
Both the countries also expressed willingness to enter into a Customs Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement (CMMA) and agreed to initiate discussions on the agreement soon.
Besides, they agreed to discuss bilateral recognition arrangements of equivalence on SPS (sanitary and phytosanitary) and TBT (technical barriers to trade) measures.
Bilateral trade between India and Mauritius rose to USD 786.72 million in 2021-22 from USD 690.02 million in 2019-20.
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