The third edition of the Export Directory, a publication by Enterprise Mauritius which contains pertinent information on products, portfolios and contact details of local enterprises, was launched yesterday at Le Meridien Hotel in Pointe aux Piments in the presence of the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Cooperatives, Mr Ashit Gungah, and the Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Mauritius, Mr Arvind Radhakrishna.
The Export Directory is an important tool to both the local and international business communities. It is a key vehicle to enhance the visibility of Mauritius as a reliable sourcing destination vis a vis international buyers. The Directory provides important information on all local exporters and is a marketing tool for promoting these enterprises.
The launching of the Directory also coincided with an award of certificates to 84 entrepreneurs who have completed the Go-Export training by December 2015. This export development programme, developed by Enterprise Mauritius, aims to enhance the export readiness of SMEs with a view to increase their competitiveness as well as enable them to maximize on opportunities arising from the growing global export markets.
In his address, Minister Gungah recalled that Government has set the target to move to the league of High Income economies. In this regard, SMEs have been identified as a major driver to attain this objective through the creation of gainful employment and wealth generation, he said.
He lauded Enterprise Mauritius' efforts to support SMEs by creating the necessary environment and synergy to enable them to graduate from the domestic market and become export oriented. To this end, he added, Enterprise Mauritius is providing hands-on support, through its Go-Export Programme, to enterprises that have the capacity to export and who are willing to accelerate their business growth by acceding to new markets.
'Go-Export', he emphasised, aims to strengthen and empower SMEs to take full advantage of opportunities that regional markets in particular, and international markets in general, offer to Mauritius under preferential bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.
Minister Gungah highlighted that Mauritius is facing enormous pressure to sustain growth and development amidst the new global economic context which offers promising opportunities but which poses daunting challenges as well. Hence the need, he said, to identify new avenues for economic expansion and embrace innovative concepts of development.
He recalled that an Africa Strategy has been developed to leverage on new opportunities in the continent. Budget 2016/17, he said, provides for establishment of an Air Freight Rebate Scheme. This is expected to provide a breathing space to our export enterprises and it is anticipated that Air Freight cost to Europe can go down by 40%. The scheme will give a new impetus to the Textile and Apparel Industry, improve the competitiveness of this sector and bring Mauritius nearer to European markets, he concluded.
For his part, the CEO of Enterprise Mauritius, Mr Arvind Radhakrishna, highlighted that Enterprise Mauritius is executing its Strategic Plan 2015-2018 which lays emphasis on market consolidation and expansion, entry in new and emerging markets, an effective Africa Strategy and capacity building in areas of enterprise needs. Eight new and emerging countries have been targeted since 2016 namely: Russia, Dubai, Japan, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Turkey and Czech Republic.
He stated that in the face of numerous challenges such as Brexit, worldwide competition, currency fluctuations and new trade policies in the USA, the main objective now is to aim at achieving more product and market diversification and working closely with enterprises. The order of the day must be continuous learning, constant innovation in the production process, creativity in product design, gradual expansion of operations to build supply capacity, establishment of new ventures and maximising on global opportunities, he concluded.