This month, the United Kingdom and our partners around the world will celebrate the official birthday of His Majesty King Charles III. Official celebrations began in the UK on Saturday 15 June, with the spectacular Trooping the Colour ceremony and the King’s Birthday Parade in London. This is a magnificent, historic event that shows the very best of British pageantry and tradition.

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We hosted His Majesty The King’s Birthday Party, the UK’s national day, on Friday. It was an opportunity to pause and reflect on a year of hard work, and on the successes we – the UK and Mauritius – have achieved in the last twelve months. As many of your readers will know, the UK-Mauritius relationship is dynamic, deep-rooted, and founded on respect. I wanted to take this opportunity to share how these factors have helped us achieve great things. It really has been a year of success!

The dynamism in our relationship is perhaps most evident in our trade relationship. Our trade relationship was worth over 65 billion rupees in 2023, and we are proud to be one of Mauritius’ four top export partners (alongside South Africa, Madagascar, and France). In April last year, we marked the first anniversary of the UK-Mauritius Strategic Trade Partnership (STP). The STP has given our bilateral trade a huge boost, particularly in infrastructure, education, and health. Delivery includes cementing a new partnership between the UK’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority and the Ministry of Finance in Mauritius to develop local capacity to deliver major infrastructure programmes based on British best practice and lesson learning.

Our economic cooperation will develop further, including in the financial services sector, where British firms have a large footprint. For example, Mauritius’ remaining global banks (HSBC and Standard Chartered) are headquartered in the City of London. We are also working with Mauritius to ensure this sector is robust and tackle illicit finance, which is vital for Mauritius’ – and the world’s – mutual prosperity. The growth in the tourism industry is another huge success. The UK is Mauritius’ second biggest tourism market. Nearly 150,000 Brits travelled to Mauritius in 2023 to sample your delicious food, welcoming culture, and beautiful beaches.

Our dynamic relationship has also helped us to push forward our shared goals on climate change. Action against climate change has long been a passion of His Majesty The King. As I often say, Mauritius is not just a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) – it is also a big ocean nation. We need to make sure the international community understands how SIDS like Mauritius are uniquely vulnerable to climate change and what we can collectively do to help them overcome some of the challenges. Access to more climate finance is critical, and we are providing 708 million rupees of technical assistance to boost this for Mauritius.
I call our relationship deep-rooted because of the history that our countries and people have shared. Recently we marked the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Allied Forces landed 2 OFFICIAL in Normandy to begin the liberation of France and wider Europe. Over 35,000 Mauritians, both men and women, joined British forces during the Second World War. We all have personal connections to this time through the personal sacrifices of our families.
Our close ties are also fostered by the active Mauritian Diaspora in the UK. The Mauritian community there makes an important contribution to Britain’s success. People with Mauritian heritage play a lead role in the National Health Service, have been cabinet ministers, and are active in business.

Our shared love for football, specifically the English Premier League, is a strong tie between the UK and Mauritius. The High Commission helped organise the secondary school football tournament last September, in partnership with the Mauritian Government and the English Premier League. I am sure Mauritians will follow the Euro 2024 tournament, which kicked off this month, closely. I hope many of you will lend England and Scotland your support. Fingers crossed one of them can get to the final– and, this time, lift the trophy!
The King’s Birthday Party in Mauritius allows us to celebrate and showcase the many successes of our relationship, and to reflect on why the partnership between our two countries is so important. My team and I at the British High Commission look forward to even greater successes in the years to come! God Save The King! H.E.

Charlotte Pierre
British High Commissioner to Mauritius

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