"This is where Russia comes in. Geographically, if you look at the whole area, you will find that the natural ally of China and India is Russia. And those three countries form part of BRICS
. So, it makes sense that Russia, which has a declared intention to be present in a big way in Africa, can join in the process."
"So, the meeting on Tuesday [with Foreign Minister Lavrov] was basically on how we can partner together, not only for Russia and Mauritius but for a better presence on the African continent."
This strategy relies on improving connectivity between Russia and Mauritius. The national carrier Air Mauritius is in talks with Russia's Aeroflot
and plans to launch direct flights between Moscow and Plaisance in 2018. About 12,000 Russian tourists per year visit Mauritius, most of whom currently travel via Dubai.
The Mauritius Board of Investment has organized several events in Moscow to foster ties with Russian businesses, including a Russia-Mauritius Business Forum. The Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority also organized a 'Tourism Day'.
"The financial sector in Mauritius is probably one of the most sophisticated that exists in this part of the world, we have investment-grade status. The CEO of the Financial Services Commission is part of this delegation to Russia, as is the Board of Investment, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority and Air Mauritius. We've brought the most important organizations when it comes to working together, to partnering."
"They are working on memorandums of understanding, where the chamber of commerce in Mauritius will partner with the chamber of commerce here in Russia and where the Board of Investment will partner with the Coordinating Committee On Economic Cooperation With Sub-Saharan Africa (AfroCom). We are also working on an MoU between the central bank of Russia and the central bank of Mauritius and the financial services commission. Those are major agreements we need to make, on which we are going to build this structure."