The Bank of Mauritius (BOM) Museum is the custodian of economic morale and of monetary history of our nation. It is testimony to what has changed in central banking over the last 50 years and provides us with a unique window on the country's rich commercial past as well as the evolution of our country's strategic and economic significance since the 17th century.
The above statement was made by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, on 03 November 2017 at the inauguration ceremony of the BOM Musuem in Port Louis, in presence of eminent personalities.
According to Mr Jugnauth, the museum which marks the celebration of the bank's golden jubilee shows Mauritius as a thriving port and trading settlement. It will give visitors a glimpse of the history of Mauritius through the display of the collection of currencies, notes and coins, he said. The museum, he added, will also play an important role on the front of financial literacy with the forthcoming role of the bank's financial educational programme.
The history of the BOM, Mr Jugnauth underlined is intrinsically linked with the evolution of Mauritius and its economic development, and Government is taking resolute steps to address persistent bottlenecks impeding growth for the country to rise even further and for the citizens to enjoy the same benefits and quality of life as those in advanced countries.
Speaking of strengthening the financial system, he recalled that amendments have been made to the Banking Act 2004 and Bank of Mauritius Act 2004 to empower the BOM to conduct effective, consolidated and conglomerated supervision. Government, he pointed out, aims to work closely with BOM to address issues of liquidity which has undermined to some extent the effectiveness of monetary policy. This, the Prime Minister said, will be attenuated with the kickoff of several major upcoming public and private sector projects. To this effect, he called on the private sector to join the public sector and seize those opportunities and help the country to join the league of high income countries.
As regards to the business environment, the Prime Minister reiterated that Government has been engaging itself in structural reforms to improve the business environment and that various reforms to boost exports and private investments have been undertaken. The reforms, he listed out, include the freight rebate scheme, the seed to market scheme, a fast track procedures for the grant of permit, and a reduction on corporate tax rate on profits.
Mauritius, he further stated, has been ranked 25th out of 190 countries by the World Bank's Doing Business Report 2018 and confirms its leading position in the African continent.
Mauritius witnessed a significant leap of 24 places with respect to its last year's ranking (49th), reaffirming that the country has improved its business regulations and is narrowing the gap with the global regulatory frontier, he said.
For his part the Governor of the BOM, Mr Rameswurlall Basant Roi, announced the bank's decision to host a Knowledge Centre, in the newly designed auditorium, which is expected to go a long way towards making precious reading materials freely available to bankers and to the relevant faculties of the University of Mauritius and other similar institutions.
The Bank of Mauritius Museum has become a full-fledged member of the International Federation of Financial Museum based in New York. It displays a richness of banknotes and coins that will make out what Mauritius was about three centuries ago. About 50 per cent of the rarities displayed in the museum are the property of the MCB Group Ltd and some rarities have also been offered by the HSBC (Mauritius) Ltd. The collection is from different countries around the world. Some 200 coins and 150 notes are displayed.
The museum is only the first leg of the project and will soon be made much more interactive. The second leg of the project will be the incorporation of financial literacy in central banking.