BEIJING (Xinhua) — China and Mauritius signed free trade agreement (FTA) here Thursday, the first FTA between China and an African country, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

The China-Mauritius FTA is the 17th FTA signed by China.

The agreement covers trade in goods and services and investment and economic cooperation.

In the area of trade in goods, China and Mauritius will eventually achieve zero tariff on 96.3 percent and 94.2 percent of product tariff items, respectively, involving 92.8 percent of import volume for both countries from each other.

The FTA will not only provide a more powerful institutional guarantee to deepen bilateral economic and trade relations, but also boost China-Africa economic and trade cooperation, according to the MOC.

Negotiations on the China-Mauritius FTA were officially launched in December 2017. The two sides formally concluded the negotiations on Sept. 2, 2018, after four rounds of intensive negotiations.

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