Mauritius in rigorous transformation to become high income economy
Mauritius Commerce Minister Cader Sayed-Hossen said that the island economy is further enhancing its investment environment, improving business opportunities, empowering its entrepreneurs, accelerating technology adoption and innovation and strengthening its regional integration. (Image: Alumno Astralis)
Mauritius has initiated a series of rigorous transformation processes to catapult the island economy to the league of “High Income Countries”, with manufacturing and industrialization as key variables in this development equation.
Mauritius Commerce Minister Cader Sayed-Hossen made this statement in his opening address at the inauguration of the Mauritius International Trade Expo (MAITEX 2014), on Thursday, August 21, 2014, in Port-Louis.
He said that Mauritius is further enhancing its investment environment, improving business opportunities, empowering its entrepreneurs, accelerating technology adoption and innovation and strengthening its regional integration.
“It is an integrated and holistic approach to build a strong and competitive Mauritian economy leveraging on the opportunities that Africa as a continent offers,” he emphasized, adding that Africa would lead the next phase of global growth after Asia.
“Mauritius, which is strategically located mid-way between Asia and Africa, is well positioned to offer a conduit into a new era of Asia-Africa partnership to service the global markets”, said the minister.
He added that Mauritius is an integral part of the African Continent and the process of its regional integration is ‘irreversible and irrevocable.’
Foreign delegations from 25 countries, including several from African countries, participated in Mauritius’ premier trade expo that ran from August 21 to 24, 2014 at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre (SVICC) at Pailles.
The trade event has been widely covered in pan-African press with PANA PRESS especially reporting that MAITEX 2014 is the largest and most comprehensive industrial expo of “Made in Mauritius” products.
MAITEX is an industry-centric exhibition showcasing Mauritius’ know-how and serving as a comprehensive sourcing platform for products manufactured in the island spanning from textiles and fashion, agri-business, light engineering to jewellery and luxury.
Furthermore, this year’s edition boasted myriad events, such as a trade exhibition for goods manufactured in Mauritius, the fourth edition of the Mauritian Jewelry Trade Exhibition, the third edition of the Mauritian Rum Festival; and finally, selected exhibitions from India and Seychelles.
Mauritius exports goods worth USD 2.6 billion comprising over 1,580 product categories and reaching out to 126 foreign destinations.
Manufacturing is still the engine of growth in Mauritius, contributing 16.7% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and employing around 110,000 in direct jobs.
The island economy is also diversifying its industrial base by promoting higher value-added manufacturing activities that include medical devices, precision engineering, electrical and electronics, gems and diamond cutting and polishing, jewellery and luxury products, amongst others.
Several measures have already been taken recently by the government to build resilience and to improve the competitiveness of its manufacturers, including grants to manufacturers to enable them to participate in international fairs, introduction of a Freight Subsidy Scheme to African ports, and structured financing, and an Export Guarantee Scheme.