Mauritius’ industrial development serves as shining model for Madagascar
Special economic zones are being set up in Madagascar where Mauritian expertise is being used as a reference point, posing an opportunity for both countries to attract foreign investment in sectors ranging from agriculture, manufacturing, financial services, and renewable energy to infrastructure. (Image: Composite)
The successful industrial development of Mauritius is being used as a reference point for setting up of special economic zones in Madagascar.
Overall, the tiny island economy’s expertise is being leveraged by the neighbouring island of Madagascar. This cooperation formed the core of discussions between Mauritius’ Prime Minister Aneerod Jugnauth and his counterpart from Madagascar, Jean Ravelonarivo, during a courtesy call at the Treasury Building in Port Louis.
In a statement, Prime Minister Ravelonarivo pointed out that the purpose of the visit is also to strengthen further long-standing ties, as well as to reinforce bilateral relations between the two countries. He also expressed the interest of the Malagasy Government to collaborate with Mauritius in various sectors so that both countries can derive mutual benefits.
He underlined that Madagascar has already established the appropriate infrastructure to set-up special economic zones and that his country is looking forward to Mauritian cooperation as well as motivating investors to realise this project.
Jean Ravelonarivo was on an official visit to Mauritius from 29 April to 3 May 2015 during which he also participated in a working lunch at the initiative of the Board of Investment to explore opportunities and identify new avenues of cooperation with regard to the setting up of special economic zones in Madagascar.
The working lunch also served as a platform for the Malagasy delegation to derive inspiration from the success achieved by Mauritius in its Export Processing Zone, which can be replicated in Madagascar.
Given the high degree of success achieved by Mauritius in attaining industrial development, the island economy is being solicited to share its experience with neighboring countries including Madagascar.
The setting up of the special economic zones is also an opportunity for both Madagascar and Mauritius to attract foreign investment in sectors ranging from agriculture, manufacturing, financial services, renewable energy, and infrastructure.
Furthermore, the special economic zones will help expand investment opportunities between the countries in the region. It may be noted that Mauritius’ Budget 2015-16 also mentioned the establishment of special economic zones in African countries, where Madagascar, Ghana and Senegal have already expressed interest to collaborate with Mauritius with a view to developing their economic zones.
To provide context, a special economic zone is a business area that has a specific economic regulation to attract local and foreign companies. A special economic zone is subject to various tax concessions and other favorable conditions. The concept of special economic zones is broader than that of an industrial free zone and may include, among others, an industrial park, service areas, offices and a logistics platform, commercial areas, tourist complexes and residential areas.