Prime Minister of Great Britain

I was delighted to be invited to contribute a message to mark the 30th¬†Anniversary of Mauritius’ Independence.

Britain has long-established close links with Mauritius, we share many common traditions: constitutional, legal, educational and of course the English language. We enjoy a very friendly bilateral relationship, founded on our shared history and a strong mutual commitment to democracy and human rights.

1 pay tribute to your country’s many achievements since Independence. We particularly value Mauritius’s membership of the Commonwealth and I was very pleased to welcome Prime Minister Ramgoolam at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Edinburgh in October. Mauritius’s close involvement with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference and the Commonwealth Finance Ministers’ Meeting. It was at the latter that the Chancellor launched the British Government’s debt initiative, the Mauritius Mandate.

Mauritius’s economic and social development over the last three decades has been an outstanding example to the region.

As the Mauritian economy expands and diversifies, British companies are becoming increasingly interested in the Mauritian market. I am glad that Barbara Roche, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Trade and Industry, will visit Mauritius in April. Trade Missions from Leicester and Sheffield’s Chamber of Commerce will also arrive in 1998, and the economist Intelligence Unit is arranging a Round-table with the Government of Mauritius in March. The close links between our two countries will also continue to be enriched by the large numbers of private visits in both directions, including the thousands of British tourists who flock to Mauritius each year for their holidays. I am sure that we shall forge ever closer links as we move forward into the next millennium.

I send my personal best wishes to the people of Mauritius and wish them every success for the future.

Tony Blair

Prime Minister