Two study reports conducted under the United Nations Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Initiative, in collaboration with the Ministry of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, were launched, yesterday, at the Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa, in Balaclava.
These reports are: 'Greening the SMEs: Improving SME Access to Green Finance in Mauritius', prepared with the United Nations Environment Programme - Finance Initiative (UNEP-Fi); and the 'Industrial Waste Management - Cost Structure Review', elaborated with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
Present on the occasion, the Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, expressed his gratitude to the United Nations PAGE Partners for their strong commitment in supporting Mauritius in its endeavour to place sustainability at the centrepiece of its national developmental goals.
The Minister pointed out that since Mauritius became a PAGE partner country in 2014, it had benefitted from various projects. He stressed that these projects had undoubtedly contributed in the transition of Mauritius to become an inclusive green economy and had also prompted the greening of the industrial sector.
According to Mr Bholah, these reports came at an opportune time as they covered two important segments of the economy, namely SMEs and the manufacturing sector, and helped to address challenges emerging on the global arena. He recalled that SMEs and manufacturing enterprises were key growth engines of the economy, with SMEs contributing around 35% of the Gross Value Added (GVA) to the Mauritian economy and employing some 44% of the total labour force, while the manufacturing sector accounted for 13.3% of the Mauritian GVA and provided employment to some 16.6% of the total labour force.
"These sectors," highlighted the Minister, "are called upon to reinvent themselves, given the new emerging challenges, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more recently the Ukraine-Russia conflict." He stressed that the two reports would help to address the challenges, define the way forward and transform these challenges into opportunities for the business community and would help to achieve a milestone in the objective to usher Mauritius into a green economy.
Furthermore, Mr Bholah underlined that the launching of the two reports bore testimony to the remarkable efforts being made by his Ministry to meet the objectives spelt out in the 'Government Programme 2020-2024'. He asserted that his Ministry was deeply involved in the crusade to make Mauritius a clean, safe and a green country, leaving no stone unturned to ensure the right economic, environmental and social equilibrium that would allow businesses to flourish within a sustainable framework.