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AfricaMoney | August 18, 2017

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Mauritius Freeport to serve as dynamic logistics platform between Africa & Asia

Mauritius Freeport to serve as dynamic logistics platform between Africa & Asia

The Freeport hosts companies involved in regional trade, break bulk operations, simple assembly and transformation, LPG storage and re-export, processing of seafood products for leading global markets in the EU, the US and Far East, light assembly and manufacturing for exports. (Image: Port Strategy)

In their 17th issue the Board of Investment (BoI) has chosen to focus on the Freeport sector, after  having thrown the spotlight on financial services, trade, and entrepreneurship, in earlier issues.

The investment promotion body of Mauritius goes on to note that the Freeport sector has brought in its wake the emergence of a dynamic and professional logistics industry.

Ken Poonoosamy, Managing Director, BoI, notes in the foreword to the edition that by taking advantage of its strategic position mid-way between Asia and Africa, the Mauritius Freeport is poised to become an integral part of the new economic architecture and it is well placed to catch the tail wind of this new phase in global trade by building sophisticated networks of trade and financial links.

Indeed, logistics have been one of the main driving forces behind this globalization. At the heart of the logistics revolution resides the integration of transport modes, in particular, services provided by third-party logistics providers to ease world trade and enabling businesses to connect to the global value chain.

“Mauritius offers stable policies with enabling laws and regulations for foreign investors and it is politically stable, peaceful and more secure as compared with other African countries,” said Managing Director of Royal Cresta Paints Ltd, Abhay Salunkhe.

“Exporting to more than 12 countries in West Africa, the Middle East and have manufacturing facilities with a distribution network in India, the exemption from customs duty and VAT on raw materials and semi-finished products for exports and tax exemption on profits generated on exports, make the Freeport a more feasible base to manufacture and export our goods to neighboring countries,” he further added.

Building on the historical strengths of Mauritius as a port of call on the spice trading route, it is now a modern integrated marketing, distribution and logistics platform that offers a wide range of products in terms of facilities offered for intra and extra regional trade.

“Mauritius is very well situated geographically and in the coming year one of the emerging trends which will definitely shape the Mauritian Freeport is the ever growing volume of trade between Asia and Africa/South America,” said the Chief Executive Officer of Velogic, Vishal Nunkoo.

The economic activities generated in the sector are impressive. The Freeport hosts companies involved in regional trade, break bulk operations, simple assembly and transformation, LPG storage and re-export, processing of seafood products for leading global markets in the EU, the US and Far East, light assembly and manufacturing for exports.

“It is interesting to note that Freeport is not a new activity. As from now, there are attractive opportunities for the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products and the assembly of medical devices for distribution to the African continent,” Secretary General, Freeport Operators Association, Afzal Delbar.

“In the same perspective, B2C e-commerce activities constitute another fast-growing segment and Mauritius is gradually positioning itself as the logistics platform for CRM and distribution activities for major e-commerce platforms targeting Africa,” he concluded.

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