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The new Consular Services Building of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China was inaugurated by the Chinese Ambassador to Mauritius, Li Li, on October 24, 2014 in Belle-Rose.

The inauguration ceremony was held in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Arvin Boolell, and marked with the presentation to a Chinese national of the first Chinese electronic passport issued by the Chinese Consular Services in Mauritius.

In his address, Minister Boolell congratulated the Chinese Ambassador for the inauguration of the new building which he said will provide easy accessibility for people requiring the consular services with state-of-art service delivery whereby focus will be on people-to-people contact and people’s diplomacy.

Arvin Boolell recalled that both countries signed on August 29, 2013 a Visa Waiver Agreement, providing for the exemption from visa requirement for a maximum of 30 days to citizens of Mauritius visiting China.

The Agreement, which is reciprocal, has resulted in an increase in the incidence of people travelling to and fro and China has become a lucrative market for Mauritius, he stated.

About the ease of travelling, the Minister stated that this also pertains to the mobility of professionals travelling to Mauritius.

“The Government’s ambition is also to encourage legal diplomacy, that is, Chinese professionals with a legal background as well as businessmen to travel to Mauritius to interact with counterparts, and use Mauritius as a springboard for onward investment, and a gateway between Africa, China and Europe,” said Arvin Boolell.

“China is a country with a culture of innovation, research and development, and as a reliable friend, China can help Mauritius progress even more,” he further said.

“We admire China and we have a lot to learn from each other in many ways and despite our geographical size Mauritius is about to become an ocean state and China will accompany us in our best endeavours”, he added.

For his part, the Chinese Ambassador observed that the inauguration of the new consular building demonstrates the will of China to create more favourable conditions for Mauritians.

He highlighted the importance of Chinese-Mauritian ties and stated that these relations are being further strengthened with the new Consular Services Building, which is a new part of the Embassy.

“We are also sending a clear message that is the intention of the personnel of the Embassy to work really hard with Mauritian authorities to develop even more relations between both countries,” added Ambassador Li Li.

The Republic of Mauritius and the People’s Republic of China established diplomatic relations on April 15, 1972 and since then, the relationship between the two countries has seen a favourable and steady development.

The past years have been marked by the consolidation of Mauritius-China relations characterised by cooperation and mutual understanding.

Image: Diaspora Saharaui

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