Representatives of the Freeport Operators Association met with the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, this afternoon in Port Louis, in the context of the 2021-2022 Pre-budget Consultations, and put forward several measures, aimed, among others, at making the Mauritian Port more attractive.
In a statement after the meeting, the Secretary General of the Association, Mr. Afzal Delbar, underlined the importance of connectivity and enhancing both sea and air access from and to Mauritius, especially with the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon world trade. He said that the port of Mauritius should be made more attractive in terms of service and cost, while air cargo services should be reviewed.
The re-instatement of the Paper Trading for another four years, until June 2025, was another proposal made to the Finance Minister. Paper Trading, according to the Freeport Act, refers to the international buying and selling of tradable commodities whereby the shipment of such commodities is made directly by the shipper in the original exporting country to the final importer in the importing country, without the goods being physically landed in Mauritius.
The classification of Freeport companies as exported oriented enterprises so that they could benefit from the various schemes available to the latter was also discussed. Mr. Delbar moreover highlighted the need to maintain the Income Tax rate as per present zero-rated for the next four income year, in light of the dire consequences of the COVID-19 which have badly affected Freeport Operators over the last two years.
The Freeport Operators Association regroups some 70 Freeport Licensees.