The Mauritius Standards Bureau (MSB) is in the process of developing the National Standardization Strategy based on a framework established by International Organization for Standardization (ISO). As a first step, an intensive consultation has been conducted to assess the needs and demands of all stakeholders. The strategy will map out the standardisation activities of the country for the coming five years and will support the socio-economic development of Mauritius.
The above statement was made by the Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, this morning, at the launching of the five-day workshop on ISO Leadership and Management Development Programme at Angsana Balaclava Mauritius Hotel.
The event, organised by ISO in collaboration with MSB aims to enhance the capabilities of CEOs' of National Standards Bodies in leading and managing their organisations in the fast evolving standardisation landscape and in the wake of major economic and societal changes. Delegates from various countries, namely Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Gambia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nigeria, Senegal, Germany, Switzerland, Iceland and Mauritius are participating in this workshop.
In his address, Minister Bholah pointed out that overcoming the steep curve of learning is one of the major challenges of National Standards Bodies in developing countries. He recalled that without a strong and synergistic partnership with world-class standards bodies and ISO, it would be impossible for standards bodies to scale up their capacities and capabilities.
It is useful to recall that out of 164 Standards Bodies affiliated to ISO over 120 are from developing countries, he stated. According to him, these national standards bodies will not be able to derive benefits from international standardisation unless they build their capacity and participate more actively in the development of international standards. Most of these national standards bodies like the MSB are "standards takers", the Minister said, adding that they should make the shift and become "standards setters". He observed that ISO should enlist the participation of its Members from developing countries in Technical Committees or Working Groups.
Mauritius, stressed Mr Bholah, is today at the cross-road of its development path and for the next phase of its development, a new economic model including innovative strategies are required to fuel the economic growth and uplift the standard of living of the citizens. Government, he stated, has already been elaborated a new development plan to transform Mauritius into a high-income economy while ensuring inclusive growth and sustainability.
The Minister announced that his Ministry is in the process of reviewing the National Export Strategy with the main objective of establishing the building blocks and engines of growth of the future. The strategy outlines the roadmap for the development of key sectors having high export potential. The next phase of development, he added, will no doubt pivot on the strengthening of the standards and conformity assessment infrastructure as a competitive tool to spur growth and create gateways for trade in the complex world of market access and market acceptance.