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Trade: Sugar export to Europe dominates headlines in Mauritius

Port-Louis, Mauritius - Sugar exports to the European Union (EU) dominated the headlines in Mauritius this week following the publication of a document from the EU suggesting that the price of this commodity may fall by 2017.

Delegates to the 11th Regional Joint Parliamentary ACP/EU meeting which ended Friday in Mauritius raised the matter during the sessions.

It’s Mauritian President Rajkeswur Purryag who launched the debates by asking the EU 'to revise its decision of abolishing the internal EU sugar quota in 2017'.

To that effect, the daily Le Mauricien wrote that Purryag estimated that the abolition of the internal quota of sugar production in Europe will give rise to overproduction, resulting in a decline in the price of sugar.

The paper quoted Purryag as saying that only competitive producers will survive with a decline in the price of sugar.

At the same meeting, as reported by Le Mauricien, the General Secretary of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), Jean-Claude de L’Estrac, insisted on the importance of setting up a maritime link to further the economic development of the islands in South-West Indian Ocean.

EU interim chief in Mauritius, Guy Samzun, spoke of piracy in Somalia, saying that the struggle against this phenomenon can only be won by Somalians on their soil.

According to him, it is important to create some interfaces to facilitate private sector investment in Somalia.

This daily also reported that the EU will support the second phase of the 'Smartfish' programme for another period of three and a half years for an amount of 16 million euros.

This programme concerning fishing, governance, control and surveillance, trade and food security, should start in next March, according to the daily.

Regarding press freedom, Le Mauricien reports that Mauritius has fallen from the 62nd to the 70th place in a classification report by Reporters Without Borders published this week.

'The reasons for this decline are unknown but RWB observes that the past year has been marked by a tendency to use the concept of national security to deprive the population of the right to information', the daily wrote.

Another daily, L’express writes on the Mauritian textile sector that is getting into some trouble because of the decline of the South African rand.

'South Africa being an important market for Mauritius offers a good alternative to this sector that depends enormously on traditional clients in Europe and the US who are affected by the crisis,' it said.

The daily writes also about a big project of electricity production from renewable sources in Mauritius that started its operation Friday.

'This photovoltaic farm will provide the national grid with 15MW of electricity. It has installed a total of 60,800 solar panels of 250 watts each in the south-western part of the island,' the daily wrote.

It reports also on two Waste-To-Energy projects that have been approved by the government, using about 300 tonnes of waste.

In the daily 'Le Matinal', Professor Mohee, vice-chancellor of the University of Mauritius, said she’ll create an African Centre and develop a structure and facilities that will enable high-level officers from Africa to come and dispense courses in fields like agriculture, environment and energy here.

It reported about the creation of a Diabetes Research Centre in Mauritius. Diabetes affects about 30% of the Mauritian population and is causing havoc throughout the world.

'We want to contribute to the reduction of diabetes and obesity in the world through research and dissemination of knowledge', a high official from the Mauritian Health Ministry told the daily.

Pana 16/02/2014