Port Louis: Mauritius on Tuesday extended its full support to India`s bid for permanent membership in an enlarged United Nations Security Council saying it was "inconceivable" that the world`s largest democracy is not a member of the top organ of the international body.
Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam said he would like to "assert in no uncertain terms" that his country will continue to support India`s legitimate bid for a permanent seat in an enlarged UNSC.
"It is inconceivable that the largest democracy in the world should have no permanent seat at the Security Council. There can be no justification for this aberration, which is contrary to the very principles of democracy that the UN stands for," he said in a speech delivered at the banquet hosted in honour of President Pranab Mukherjee.
Ramgoolam said all efforts should be made in pursuing every opportunity, in every international forum, to persuade the international community to right this "obvious disregard for representative democracy".
The Prime Minister said India has always inspired, fascinated, and indeed continues to enthral the world in a multitude of ways? whether it be as the largest democracy, as an economic powerhouse, by the outstanding quality of its intellectual, spiritual and cultural output or through its capacity to manage the sizeable human numbers that make up its diverse ethnic, religious and linguistic population.
Ramgoolam said it is reassuring that India`s vision remains outbound, reaching out to its diaspora through the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and to other developing countries through platforms such as the India-Africa Summit or on bilateral level in a spirit of South-South cooperation.
"India has always inspired, fascinated, and indeed continues to enthrall the world in a multitude of ways whether it be as the largest democracy, as an economic powerhouse, by the outstanding quality of its intellectual, spiritual and cultural output or through its capacity to manage the sizeable human numbers that make up its diverse ethnic, religious and linguistic population," he said.
The Prime Minister said Mauritius has always been known as the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean. The country lies at the confluence of Asia and Africa and it is keen to leverage this unique geographical location for boosting trade and economic interaction between the two continents.
"Investors are already using Mauritius as a base to invest into Africa persuaded by the fact that our country is a competitive business hub underpinned by knowledge-based industries, a robust and strongly regulated financial services sector as well as an independent Judiciary," he said.
Referring to the visa facilities offered to a larger number of countries, particularly in Africa, to ease travel to Mauritius and create an even more conducive business environment, Ramgoolam said today manufacturing companies set up in the country`s Freeport can take advantage of Mauritius appurtenance to regional markets in Africa.
Educational institutions can also take advantage of the facilities we offer in the context of transforming Mauritius into a knowledge hub, he said.
A number of educational institutions from India have already started operating in Mauritius and are attracting foreign students from the African continent.
"We would like to encourage additional institutions of repute from India and other places to use Mauritius as a regional centre of excellence," he said.
The Prime Minister said 50 per cent of the investment in state-of-the-art medical facilities comes from India giving an important boost to the emerging medical tourism sector.
"I would like to invite the business sector in India to use Mauritius as a secure platform to outreach the potential of the African Continent. This can create a win-win situation for Mauritius, India as well as Africa. This would also be in line with our common aspiration to promote South-South cooperation," he said.