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Mauritius Briefs Business On WTO Obligations

by Amanda Banks, Lowtax.net, London
21 May, 2015

Private and public sector organizations in Mauritius have been briefed on the Government's efforts to meet its requirements as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

A one-day workshop was staged by the Government on May 19, intended to enable stakeholders to gain a clearer understanding of the processes of the WTO Notifications.

The WTO Notifications are obligations that require WTO members to report trade measures, policies, regulations, and laws to the relevant bodies of the WTO that might have an effect on other member countries. They are the primary instruments for ensuring transparency in the multilateral trading system.

Areas of notifications range from agriculture, market access, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), and Sanitary/Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) concerns, to services, intellectual property rights, and regional trade agreements. The notifications include, among others, tariff quotas and surcharges, quantitative restrictions, licensing and mixing requirements, variable levies, export taxes, and other government assistance such as subsidies and tax exemptions.

Narainduth Boodhoo Deputy Director, Trade Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said: "With new developments taking place at the WTO, the notification requirements have also changed, and it is proper to make sure that we keep track of these developments and prepare ourselves adequately to meet our WTO obligations."

The WTO's fourth Trade Policy Review of Mauritius, which took place in October 2014, concluded that the country is performing well in relation to various international indicators, including in the areas of governance, competitiveness, and the business environment. The report observed that Mauritius does not normally discriminate between its trading partners, and has never participated in any WTO dispute settlement cases as either complainant or respondent.

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