India, Mauritius seek new avenues of cooperation in shipping

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New Delhi, Oct 15 (UNI) The Joint Working Group (JWG), set up by India and Mauritius to explore possibilities of bilateral cooperation in the areas of shipping and road transport, will submit its report by the end of this year.

This was stated by Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister T R Baalu during his meeting with Mauritian Prime Minister Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam in Port Louis today.

Mr Baalu, whom arrived in Mauritius this morning on a two-day visit to the Indian Ocean country, said the JWG, set up a few days ago and comprising officers of both countries, would discuss issues relating to shipping and road transport in detail before submitting its report.

Besides Mr Ramgooloam, the minister met Mauritian Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ahmed Rashid Beebeejaun, who also holds the portfolio of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport and Shipping. He also met Mr Madan Murlidhar Dulloo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Cooperation.

Various issues of mutual interest were discussed at these meetings, which included procurement of an oil tanker of 50,000-55,000 DWT capacity in collaboration with the Indian government through the Shipping Corporation of India; training of Merchant Navy officers and allocation of four stand alone slots for Merchant Navy officers from Mauritius in India's training institutions; and procurement of equipment for the Maritime Training Institute in Mauritius.

Earlier, in his meeting with the Mauritian Prime Minister, Mr Baalu said that Mauritius has managed to preserve exceptional social harmony in a multi-ethnic and pluralistic environment.

He also pointed out that Mauritius had brought about a successful economic transformation from a mono-crop agricultural colony to a vibrant economy, but the level of economic and commercial ties between India and Mauritius had not been proportional to the richness and depth of their political and cultural relations.

Mr Baalu stressed the need to strengthen economic and commercial relations between the two countries.

He is slated to inaugurate the Mauritius Maritime Training Academy at Pointe aux Sables tomorrow.

UNI

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