Port Louis: Pitching for liberalised visa regime among Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) members, India Thursday said it is considering visa on arrival facility for citizens from Mauritius and many other countries in the region to boost regional cooperation and trade.
Speaking at the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) Economic and Business Conference here, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said the region has exhibited healthy prospects for both international and intra-regional trade.
He said that visa regimes in the countries of the region need to be further liberalised.
"India is considering visa on arrival for many countries, including Mauritius," he said.
Trade ministers from IOR-ARC 20 member states and the six dialogue partner states (China, Egypt, France, Japan, UK and USA) have gathered here participate in the the two-day IOR-ARC Economic and Business Conference.
Sharma said IOR region as a whole has managed to maintain a trade surplus in most years of the last decade even when the economies elsewhere were getting affected by global slowdown.
"We have identified the key areas and our business leaders are keen to take it forward," he said.
Sharma, however, voiced concern that despite setting up of a Working Group on Trade and Investment, not much progress has been made for achieving substantial outcomes.
"As a result, the need for this Conference is to initiate the process of deliberations and gather suggestions of the business leaders for chartering the future roadmap of engagement, focused on enhancing trade and investment as an engine of economic growth and prosperity with businesses driving the growth agenda as partners in progress," he said.
IOR-ARC members include Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, UAE.
First Published: Thursday, July 04, 2013, 18:23