New Delhi, May 26 (PTI) Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth today said a comprehensive economic cooperation pact with India is being negotiated that will boost bilateral trade and cross-border investments.

Mauritius is a major source of foreign direct investment to India.

Jugnauth, who arrived here on his first overseas visit, urged Indian businesses to take advantage of the island nation’s strategic location that provides a gateway to Africa.

He made a pitch to India Inc to invest in special economic zones and pharmaceutical industry of Mauritius.

Describing Mauritius as “a home away from home” for Indians, Jugnauth said the partnership with India is likely to be cemented through the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA), which is taking shape.

“The CECPA will provide the opportunities for even greater flow of trade in goods and services as well as improve cross-border investments between our two countries,” the Mauritius prime minister said while addressing the industry chambers.

Dnyaneshwar M Mulay, Secretary, Overseas Indian Affairs in the Ministry of External Affairs, said both sides are pursuing the CECPA to help diversify the trade basket and address the balance of trade, which is currently in India’s favour.

He said the draft of the CECPA is likely to be ready in mid-2017 with an expected conclusion by the end of the year.

India exports petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, cereals, cotton and electrical machinery, among others, to Mauritius.

The island nation’s export to India includes iron and steel, pearls and precious and semi-precious stones.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.