The Mauritius Export Association (MEXA), which has been at the forefront to support its members by extending valuable advice, facilitating logistics activities, and implementing training programmes that are highly critical for the export sector, has greatly contributed to the economic growth of the country. MEXA's sense of entrepreneurship and innovation provides great opportunities for economic growth, prosperity and inclusion.
The Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr. Soomilduth Bholah, made this statement yesterday at the 12th Annual General Meeting of MEXA held at the Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel in Port Louis. The Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr. Premdut Koonjoo; the Chairman of MEXA, Mr Beas Cheekhooree; and other personalities were also present.
In his address, Minister Bholah highlighted that the success of Mauritius is to a large extent the result of its export-oriented strategy since the 1970s and that Small and Medium Enterprises are bound to enter the circle in which trade allows them to expand output so as to achieve economies of scale which can be passed on to customers in price-sensitive markets. He underscored that Government is committed to formulate policies, as evidenced by the launching of the National Export Strategy 2017-2021, as well as to revamp its industrial base which will eventually help Mauritius to graduate in the league of high income economies.
Mr. Bholah underlined that Budget 2017/2018 provided new incentives for the export sector, such as the proposal to reduce corporation tax of exporting firms from 15% to 3%, and the extension of the Speed to Market scheme to a wider range of products. He added that exporters can now work towards an expansion of trade in Africa, notably through the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area, which Mauritius has ratified since April 2015.
He made an appeal to MEXA to see Government as a partner as the latter has a clear roadmap geared towards sustainable and inclusive economic growth and encouraged public-private partnership to attain a better and stronger Mauritian economy.
For his part, Mr. Cheekhooree pointed out that our export sector is not only competing against traditional countries but also against emerging economies of South East Asia. He stressed that MEXA's vision for a new export sector should be built around the several fundamentals which include an integrated value chain that combines its various components so as to enable a country to put forward its competitive advantage as well as a business environment that promotes innovation, creativity and high quality.
A constant flow of investment into the manufacturing sector; air and sea connectivity; a better synergy between offshore sector and onshore manufacturing base allowing sourcing of goods and products from local companies; and integration in the e-commerce revolution will definitely boost the export sector, he added.