Jointly inaugurating multiple development projects in Mauritius, along with the country’s Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that Mauritius is “integral” to India’s approach to the Indian Ocean, and that the development partnership is a key pillar of the close ties between the two nations.
Speaking at a virtual event, Modi said, “India and Mauritius are united by history, ancestry, culture, language and the shared waters of the Indian Ocean. Today, our robust development partnership has emerged as a key pillar of our close ties.”
Mauritius, Modi said, “is a prime example of India’s approach to development partnership which is based on the needs and priorities of our partners and respects their sovereignty.”
He highlighted several aspects of the relationship and mentioned that under India’s Vaccine Maitri programme “Mauritius was one of the first countries it was able to send Covid vaccines to.”
“Mauritius is also integral to our approach to the Indian Ocean,” said Modi, adding that he was glad, “that the bilateral cooperation, including in maritime security, has translated this vision into action.”
The event on Thursday, he said, demonstrated, “Our shared commitment to improving the lives of our people.”
They inaugurated the Social Housing Project, and laid the foundation stones for a Civil Service College and an 8 Mega Watt Solar PV Farm project, which, Modi said, “will help mitigate the climate challenges that Mauritius faces as an island country.”
India had extended a US$ 353 million to Mauritius in May 2016 as a Special Economic Package for five priority projects, of which the Social Housing Project was the last to be completed.
The solar project will generate approximately 14 GWh of green energy annually, to electrify approximately 10,000 households with an estimated avoidance of 13,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
He expressed hope that India and Mauritius “can together create a shining example of such cooperation in solar energy.”
Two agreements were also exchanged, one for extension of US$ 190 million Line of Credit to Mauritius for the Metro Express and other infrastructure projects and MoU on the Implementation of Small Development Projects. Regarding the latter, Modi said, “it will deliver high-impact projects at the community level across Mauritius”. He stressed that “India will always continue to stand by Mauritius in its development journey.”
According to a statement by the Indian government, Jugnauth “thanked India for wide ranging assistance including financial assistance to Mauritius” and noted that under Modi, the relations between the two nations “have attained newer heights”.