Mauritius and China Zoom In On RMB Hub

In the context of the fifty years of diplomatic ties between Mauritius and China, the Economic Development Board of Mauritius, in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy, organised the Mauritius-China Economic Cooperation Forum at the Hilton Resort and Spa Hotel on 7 December 2022.

Mauritian Finance Minister Mr Renganaden Padayachy highlighted that the Forum comes at an opportune moment as we approach the second anniversary of the entry into force of the Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement (MCFTA). Based on data from customs, the bilateral trade volume between Mauritius and China has increased by 54% in 2021, when compared to 2020 when the #FTA was not yet effective.

Chinese Ambassador Mr ZHU Liying invited Mauritius to take advantage and to explore synergies between the #AfCFTA and MCFTA because Mauritius finds itself in the enviable position with a stake in both.

One of the spotlights of the Forum focused on the soon-to-be-realized Regional RMB Clearing Centre in Mauritius. Thus, a Discussion Panel was held around this subject matter.

Mr Li Lianhong, CEO of Bank of China in Mauritius, pointed out the regional reach potential of the RMB Hub in Mauritius. So far, only two other such centers exist in Africa, namely in South Africa and Zambia. Given its numerous comparative advantages as a trade and investment platform for Africa, the #MauritiusIFC was selected as a candidate country to implement a Regional RMB Hub.

Mr Samade Jhummun, CEO of Mauritius Finance, enquired about whether the RMB Hub could promote cross-border investments into Africa via Mauritius. Mr Daniel Essoo, CEO of the Mauritius Bankers Association, underlined that the since the RMB Hub will streamline cross-border financial flows, it will certainly facilitate #FDI as well.

Mr Kwang Poon, Chairman of the Global Business Council, requested clarification whether Digital Currency has been factored into the RMB Hub roadmap. Mr Mardayah Kona Yerukunondu, First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Mauritius, clarified that his institution is piloting the launch of the Digital Currency soon and sees ‘no objection’ in incorporating this development into the RMB Hub equation.

According to the Central Bank of Mauritius, only a few administrative procedures remain to enable and activate the RMB Hub. Minister Padayachy actually announced that the operationalization of the #RMBHub is expected “in a few days.”

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