AFD supports port development in Mauritius with Rs 1 bn in funding
AFD approved funding of approximately Rs 1 billion in favour of Mauritius for the development of its port area, whose transformation is expected to strengthen the economy and help realise the vision of making the Port Louis Harbour a modern bunkering hub in the region.(Image:portguide.mu)
The Agence Française de Developpement (AFD) approved a financing agreement of around Rs 1 billion in favour of Mauritius for the development of the Port area in Port Louis. The loan comes with a grant of around Rs 48 million.
The financing agreement was signed on June 25 in Paris by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo, on behalf of the Mauritian Government.
In his speech on the occasion, Lutchmeenaraidoo expressed his wish that the AFD continue to play an active role in the on-going economic diversification programme of Mauritius, as outlined in the 2015-2016 Budget.
AFD is a major development partner for Mauritius and has contributed majorly in various sectors of the economy encompassing the growth of the energy sector, development of roads and preservation of the environment. These initiatives, he said, reflect the firm commitment of the AFD to address issues of sustainable development in Mauritius.
The transformation of the port is a major component of the ongoing initiative to strengthen the economy so as to achieve the second economic miracle and is in line with the vision of the Government to make the Port Louis Harbour a modern bunkering hub in the region.
The Minister also spoke of the creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for Mauritius in Africa, particularly in Madagascar, Ghana and Senegal. The AFD has expressed interest to support Mauritius in this ambitious regional initiative, in particular through Special Purpose Vehicles to be set up for developing these areas.
Part of the funding will also be used to acquire sophisticated equipment for the Cargo Handling Corporation Ltd to aid in its modernisation process. Besides, the funding will also be used towards expanding the dock at the Mauritius Container Terminal so as to enable and facilitate bigger carriers to embark and disembark goods in a shorter period of time.
The Mauritian delegation also discussed several areas of cooperation, such as non-sovereign financing for public enterprises, the Government’s vision for Smart Cities and Mauritius-Reunion economic bilateral relations.
Finally, it may be noted that the port area in Mauritius will undergo a major development in the coming years with a seven-kilometer extension of the Port which will also comprise new facilities including a modern fishing harbour, bunkering facilities, a marina, a cruise port, new spaces for containers, docks and more efficient handling equipment and various logistics warehousing and distribution, including the free port.