A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at reinforcing efforts of the SME Mauritius, Business Mauritius, and Association of Mauritian Manufacturers (AMM) for the successful development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), was signed on 12 October 2018 in the presence of the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah in Port-Louis.
The signatories were the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the SME Mauritius, Mr Ravin Rampertab, the CEO of Business Mauritius, Mr Kevin Ramkaloan and the CEO of AMM, Mr Bruno Dubarry.
On this occasion, Minister Bholah underlined that the MoU is part of the TradeCom II programme, implemented by the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the European Union. Its main aim, he highlighted, is to strengthen the capacity of ACP countries so as to facilitate closer regional integration and increased participation in the global economy. The TradeCom II project also enables the formulation of appropriate trade policies, and international negotiations for greater integration of ACP countries into the regional and global value chains, he pointed out.
The MoU, he emphasised, will help consolidate the relations between these three organisations, dedicated to the promotion of the SME sector in Mauritius. The Minister underscored that the latter will work together to ensure the implementation of projects identified under the TradeCom programme, improve the dissemination of information for the benefit of SMEs and come forward with other support mechanisms. A committee "SME for Growth Joint Working Group" will be set up so as to create better synergy between the organisations and to improve entrepreneuriat in the country, he added.
The Minister reiterated that the overall objective is to enhance the resilience of SMEs and improve their competitiveness on local and international markets so as to successfully face the alarming challenges relating to trade liberalisation. Government, he underlined, is determined to increase the exports of SMEs by 18% in 2026 by creating the favourable conditions for their successful development. To this end, a National Export Strategy 2017-2021 advocating for several measures to reinforce the exporting capacity of SMEs, was launched.
Moreover, he pointed out that several aid schemes aimed at enhancing the quality of products and services, encouraging the use of the state-of-the-art technologies by SMEs and promoting innovation, have been put in place. The signing of the MoU adds to the list of numerous initiatives that have been undertaken by the Government to support SMEs in their progress.
TradeCom II Programme
Mauritius obtained assistance under the ACP Trade Capacity Building Programme, funded by the EU on the Project 'Strengthening Export Competitiveness for inclusive growth in Mauritius, especially in the context of the IEPA Implementation'. The goal of the programme was to assist Mauritius in enhancing its business environment for exporting SMEs and promoting exports on the EU market. Some 32 SMEs, engaged in different economic sectors, have already benefitted from the assistance.