In his address, Minister Bholah highlighted that one major step forward to facilitate trade and access to market for SMEs is the use of barcodes, which is one of the most innovative elements of business process automation to help track sales of products, categorise and centralise information, save time and increase efficiency.
He recalled that GS1 Mauritius Ltd and SME Mauritius Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Barcode Registration Scheme for SMEs early this year. Since 1994, Mauritius, he pointed out, is a member organisation of GS1 and is responsible to allocate GS1 identification numbers and barcodes to trade operators in Mauritius. GS1 standards, he underlined, help improve efficiency, safety, and visibility of supply chains and have been adopted by 1.5 million user companies across the world with 6 billion transactions every day.
Moreover, Minister Bholah indicated that SMEs have been identified as major role players in the economic growth and transformational development of Mauritius. The collaboration with GS1 for the barcode registration scheme, he stated, bears testimony to the synergy that exists between Government and private institutions for setting up an inclusive trading system. This collaboration will present new opportunities to the SMEs, inspire and support their growth, and encourage them in doing cross borders business, he added.
According to the Minister, the world is moving towards a full-fledged digital society, and it is recommended that SMEs incorporate technology in their business routine in order to achieve sustainable growth. He urged local entrepreneurs to register at the SME Mauritius so as to benefit from this facility and several other facilities for their start-ups as well as to upgrade their businesses.
Also present on the occasion, the President of GS1 Mauritius, Mr Guillaume Hugnin, highlighted that the adoption of barcodes is an important step and crucial for the development of SMEs. He underlined that the use of barcodes will enable SMEs to easily access the international market, enhance their products, facilitate inventory management, reduce cost,and help to detect fraud.
Mr Hugnin expressed optimism that this private public partnership will indeed boost the SME sector as well as contribute to the economy.
Barcode Registration scheme
The Barcode Registration scheme is managed by SME Mauritius, whilst the training process and administration of barcodes are handled by the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry and GS1 Mauritius Ltd. It consists of 100% reimbursement on registration and training fees amounting to Rs 6 750, which will be paid by SMEs for developing and using barcodes.
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