New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil
tonight returned home after a five-day State Visit to
Mauritius during which she addressed the National Assembly and
held discussions with the island nation`s top leadership.
During the visit, Patil was also conferred with the
Degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Mauritius.
During her meeting with Mauritian Prime Minister
Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Patil raised India`s concerns over
piracy in the Indian Ocean, saying it adversely impacts on all
countries in the region and pledged to work with Mauritius to
combat the menace.
Appreciating India`s role in helping Mauritius in
combating piracy at high seas, Ramgoolam said the two
countries can continue to work together in responding to
security threats at sea and safety of sea lanes.
Both the leaders also discussed regional and
international issues of mutual interest.
In her address to the National Assembly of Mauritius,
President Patil said India and Mauritius have an important
role to play in the Indian Ocean region to which both the
countries belong to.
"I would also like to say that India values the
continued support given by Mauritius to India`s concerns and
aspirations. We are determined to confront the global menace
of terrorism and piracy along with our international partners
to eliminate this scourge," she said.
Describing his meeting with Patil as "productive",
Ramgoolam said: "both sides discussed several issues of common
interests. He said that his country could become a launching
pad for India`s business interests in the African continent.
Mauritius accounts for over 40 per cent of FDI into India.
The offshore sector in Mauritius has proven to be an
important source for routing of FDI into India, largely
because the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC)
between the two countries gives considerable advantage
(particularly in terms of Capital Gains tax liability) to
investors using the `Mauritius route` for investing in India.
While addressing a meeting of the India-Mauritius
Business Forum here, Patil stressed the need for
"reinvigorating" India-Mauritius bilateral cooperation in
economic and commercial areas to explore the large untapped
"While political relations between India and Mauritius
are close, our bilateral cooperation in the economic and
commercial areas needs to be further reinvigorated, given the
large untapped potential," she said.
The President also advocated use of education as a
tool to further improve the bilateral relations between India
and Mauritius, saying bridges of friendship should be
continued for the future.
During her stay, Patil also met members of the Indian
community there and hailed their contribution to the
centuries-old ties between India and Mauritius making it not
only a bond of friendship, but a relationship of "kinship".