Jaya Krishna Cuttaree


Jaya Krishna Cuttaree


A barrister-at-law, Honourable Jaya Krishna Cuttaree has had a long political career during which he has served successively as Minister of Labour and Industrial Relations, Attorney-General and Minister of Housing, Lands, Town and Country Planning, Minister of Industry, Industrial Technology, Scientific Research and Handicraft, Minister of Industry, Commerce and International Trade and (to-date) Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Regional Cooperation.

Minister Cuttaree is deeply committed to regional economic integration processes, which he wants to see further deepening, and to South-South trade as a necessary complement to multilateral trade. His various diplomatic initiatives, regionally and internationally, in the field of international trade negotiations have been fruitful not only to the region but to the developing countries at large.

As Minister responsible for international trade matters, Minister Cuttaree has been closely monitoring the ongoing WTO negotiations, in particular those relating to the Doha Round and their bearing on the ACP–EU negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) under the Cotonou Agreement. Like many of his colleagues from the developing world, Minister Cuttaree has been militating in favour of a WTO agenda which provides for operational special and differential treatment in favour of Developing Countries, including the Least Developed Countries, rather than a "one-size-fits all" approach, to ensure that these countries, too, derive meaningful gains from trade liberalisation.

As Ministerial Chairperson of the African Union Ministers of Trade last year, Minister Cuttaree played a leading role, at the last WTO Council of Ministers in September at Cancun, Mexico, in the establishment of the Group of 90, comprising the African, LDCs and ACP Members. The G-90 has now become an important element in the ongoing negotiations at the WTO.

Mauritius hosted last July the 8th Meeting of the ACP Ministers of Trade and the Meeting of the G-90 negotiators, barely a few days before the WTO General Council. At those meetings, the ACP Declaration and the Elements of G-90 Platform on the Doha Work Programme were adopted. Minister Cuttaree was actively involved in the deliberations of the two meetings, particularly in finding a consensus on key issues. These meetings have helped put back on track the stalled WTO trade negotiations.

High on the list of the priorities of Minister Cuttaree is to strengthen, through participatory approaches, understanding of the need for the WTO to accommodate the interests of all its Members, both developed and developing, within a multilateral trade system that effectively contributes to growth creation and poverty eradication. Minister Cuttaree is well-known for his commitment to the emergence of a dynamic process where all Members participate actively and constructively in the trade negotiations for an outcome which is balanced, fair and owned by the membership.

In the same vein, Minister Cuttaree favours an effective interface between the WTO and all relevant international organisations and agencies with a view to fostering greater complementarity and synergy among them in their attempts at addressing key trade and trade-related concerns of many Developing Countries. These institutional linkages will not only strengthen credibility of the multilateral trading system, but also provide for better mechanisms to integrate trade into development strategies, which is fundamental to the integration of developing countries in the global economy.

As one of the proponents of a better functioning of the WTO and its Secretariat, Minister Cuttaree will ensure that the principles of inclusiveness and transparency in the decision-making processes of the WTO are fully respected.

Minister Cuttaree has been a Member of the National Assembly since 1982. Before starting his political career, he worked for various organisations in Mauritius and abroad: Assistant Conservator of Forests-Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Mauritius); General Manager of the Sugar Planter’s Mechanical Pool Corporation (Mauritius); Chief of the Natural Resources Division of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Programme Specialist (Research and Development in Natural resources) for UNESCO in Paris, France, where he was involved in the ecological impact assessment of developmental projects in African countries south of the Sahara.

Minister Cuttaree holds a BSC (Forestry) from Edinburgh University, Scotland, a MSC and PHD in Ecology from Uppsala University of Sweden, a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Studies from Cambridge University, United Kingdom, and is also a qualified Barrister from Lincoln’s Inn, London. Minister Cuttaree is currently the Deputy Leader of his party, the Mouvement Militant Mauricien (MMM).

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