Extended Africa strategy pays off as Mauritius annual exports to Zambia up 16%
In 2013, Mauritius boosted trade with Zambia with 16% rise in exports to Rs 6.8 million, as the island has carved a niche as a well-known source market among Zambian importers. (Image: CHCL)
In a major boost to the Extended Africa strategy of the island economy, Mauritius’ apex trade promotion agency, Enterprise Mauritius (EM), announced that the island’s annual exports to Zambia have gone up by 16% in 2013 compared to the previous year.
Dev Chamroo, CEO at Enterprise Mauritius, told the local press in Zambia that Mauritius exports to Zambia stand at Rs 6.8 million for 2013 against Rs 5.85 million in 2012.
He added that Mauritius now ranks 27th as a sourcing destination for Zambia, with South Africa, Congo and China being its three main export partners, but the island has carved a niche as a well-known source market among Zambian importers.
According to Dev Chamroo, Mauritius is targeting the Southern African nation to further increase exports. The island economy currently deals mainly in preparations used in animal feed and fertilisers as well as baby clothes, napkins, and sanitary towels.
As Mauritius and Zambia are active members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Southern African Development Community (SADC), the two countries benefit from preferential access under the Free Trade Agreement.
It may be noted that Zambia is a landlocked country with eight neighbouring states namely Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Angola.
With a population of 14.2 million, Zambia has 40% of its inhabitants concentrated mainly in the big cities (Lusaka and Copper belt Province).
Its main economic activity is mining, which accounts for 80% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
Coming to Mauritius, since independence in 1968, the island has embraced a complete economic transformation to build a robust, vibrant and diversified economy.
Mauritian industries have come full circle, such as from the sugar to the cane industry, textiles to fashion industry, fishing to seafood industry, tourism to the hospitality industry, banking to the financial services industry, among others.
Also, for the first four months of this year, Mauritius’ overall exports increased by 7% to reach Rs 19 billion compared to Rs 17.7 billion in the corresponding period in 2013. Especially good was the export performance in April 2014, which saw a significant 17% increase in exports compared to April last year.