Enterprise Mauritius, a leading Mauritian governm ent-owned organization, on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) i n Port-Louis, the capital, with the East and Central Africa (ECA) Trade Hub to e n able Mauritian companies gain access to the vast US market.
The ECA trade hub provides technical assistance to African firms and governments to enhance competitiveness in global markets.
Through the African Growth and Competitiveness Initiative (AGCI), the trade hub helps African businesses take advantage of trade opportunities available under t h e African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The AGCI is a US$ 200 million, five-year Presidential initiative aimed at promot ing the export competitiveness of enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in ord e r to expand African trade with the US, other international trading partners and r egionally within SSA.
AGCI works with other donor initiatives, including the World Bankâ?s Making Fin ance Work for Africa and the multilateral infrastructure Consortium for Africa.
Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony, the Mauritian Industry Minister, Dha ram Gokhool, recalled that the US market of 290 million consumers had a GDP of s o me US$ 13 trillion, saying “This MoU will benefit enterprises of all sizes and s tages of development, from a range of valuable business support services that ca n prove vital to enhance exports to the US.”
Specifically, the Trade Hub will provide market intelligence and act as coordina tor, facilitator and intermediary to promote exports.
“Mauritian enterprises will have the opportunity to also benefit from the Compet e Partnership Fund grant initiatives where projects can be submitted for funding , ” the Minister indicated.
Gokhool further stated that the MOU would open vistas for enhancing trade and in vestment and new enterprises to break into the US market and existing ones achie v e a stronger foothold.
“We also look forward to diversifying our product portfolio, which so far consis ted predominantly of textile products,” he explained.
According to the Minister, the US remains a major market outlet for the Islandâ ?s manufactured products.
“It is not only one of the largest consumer markets but is also home to many of the worldâ?s largest retailers and marketing firms. We should spare no efforts to translate the provisions of this MoU into concrete actions to energize and pr o vide a new lease of life to exports to the US,” the Minister emphasised.