Mauritian Industry and Commerce Minister Cader Sayed-Hossen, Thursday said that Mauritius has initiated a series of rigorous transformation processes to graduate the island’s economy to the league of “High Income Countries” with manufacturing and industrialisation as key variables in this development equation.
Speaking at the opening of the Mauritius International Trade Expo (MAITEX 2014) in Port-Louis, Sayed-Hossen said Mauritius is further enhancing its investment environment, improving business opportunities, empowering its entrepreneurs, accelerating technology adoption and innovation and strengthening its regional integration.
“It’s an integrated and holistic approach to build a strong and competitive Mauritian economy leveraging on the opportunities that Africa as a Continent offers”, he emphasised.
According to him, 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”, the Minister said, adding that “Mauritius is an integral part of the African Continent and our process of regional integration is irreversible and irrevocable.”
Foreign delegations from 25 countries, including several from African countries, have come to participate in this expo that runs over the weekend.
PANA reports that MAITEX 2014 is the largest and most comprehensive industrial expo of “Made in Mauritius” products. It is an industry-centric exhibition showcasing Mauritius’ know-how and a comprehensive sourcing platform for products manufactured in the island.
These are related to textiles and fashion, agri-business, light engineering and jewellery and luxury.
Today, Mauritius exports goods worth US$ 2.6 billion. They comprise over 1,580 product categories reaching out to 126 foreign destinations.
Manufacturing is still the engine of growth in Mauritius, contributing 16.7% of Gross Domestic Products (GDP), and employing around 110,000 in direct jobs.
The island is also diversifying the industrial base of its economy 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 been taken of late by the government to build resilience and to improve the competitiveness of its manufacturers. These include: grants to manufacturers to enable them to participate in international fairs, introduction of a Freight Subsidy Scheme to African ports and a structured financing and of an Export Guarantee Scheme.