India and Mauritius, which share "strong synergies and complementarities" between their economies, need to explore the full potential of their economic relations, President Pranab Mukherjee has said.
Addressing a banquet held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in honour of visiting Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag Friday evening, the president said the two countries also share the objective of peace and stability along the Indian Ocean.
Describing the Mauritius president as a "long standing friend of India and a strong advocate of closer ties between India and Mauritius," President Mukherjee praised the Indian Ocean island nation for having maintained "impressive growth" despite the global economic slowdown.
Commenting on the close historical ties between India and Mauritius, which comprises over 60 percent people of Indian origin, President Mukherjee said the long-standing ties of co-operation between their nations have "evolved into a modern and vibrant partnership involving key sectors on both sides".
"This has been facilitated by our regular dialogue and inter-governmental initiatives operationalised through a framework of bilateral agreements, public and private sector joint ventures and robust people-to-people contacts.
"The strong synergies and complementarities between our two economies indicate that there still remains a vast untapped potential - especially in the trade, investment, developmental and infrastructure sectors," he said, according to a statement from Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Mukherjee said India and Mauritius face the common challenge of maritime piracy "which must be overcome by the collective efforts of all the littoral states that are affected. We value the active support and involvement of the Government of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation".
Purryag, who is of Indian origin, began a week-long visit to India Thursday. He met External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Friday.
The Mauritius president will be the chief guest at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Kochi in Kerala from Jan 7-9. He will also visit his ancestral village Bojeetpore near Patna.