Mauritius seeks business ties with West Bengal

Wednesday, 30 October 2002, 08:00 Hrs
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KOLKATA: Mauritius is keen on setting up business ties with West Bengal and, as a first step, introduce a direct flight between Port Louis and Kolkata.

A top Mauritius government official has begun the groundwork for establishing meaningful trade links with the Indian state in the areas of IT, tourism, jute and fisheries.

K. Ponnusamy, permanent secretary of Mauritius' ministry of foreign affairs and regional co-operation, met West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya here Tuesday.

He told the chief minister that introducing a direct flight between Port Louis and Kolkata could help.

Ponnusamy said his talks with Bhattacharya were "very encouraging".

Mauritius is seeking to benefit from West Bengal's achievements in IT industry and fisheries. West Bengal is India's highest producer and consumer of fish and is targeting to grab 20 percent of Indian software exports by 2005.

Mauritius authorities have also identified jute as a major sector for business co-operation. West Bengal's jute industry has survived some difficult times, and is showing signs of recovery.

Ponnusamy informed Bhattacharya about the help his country was receiving from a Kolkata-based firm for setting up his country's first science museum near Port Louis.

Scientific exhibits, models and décor are being put together at the office of the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) here. These are transported lock, stock and barrel to Port Louis where Indian technicians assemble them.

Mauritius first approached India for help in building a science museum in 1992. An agreement was signed only in 1998.
Source: IANS
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