GIS – 29 November, 2019: ‘By the end of this year, Mauritius will become one of the few economies that have managed to get out of the middle-income trap. The aim is now to maintain and even significantly surpass the benchmark of USD 12,376 and ensure that the growth we have permeates equitably to all members of our society’, said the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, yesterday afternoon, at Le Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, in Port Louis.
The Minister was speaking at a Cocktail Reception organised by the Economic Development Board (EDB) to mark the outstanding performance of Mauritius in the latest Ease of Doing Business Report 2020. Dr Padayachy congratulated the EDB and all stakeholders who worked together in making this performance possible and announced that the next objective is to get into the top 10 economies and cement our place in this select category of highly advanced countries.
It is recalled that Mauritius has been ranked 13th out of 190 countries assessed according to the latest edition of the Ease of Doing Business Report released in October by the World Bank. This represents the best ranking ever for Mauritius since the publication of the report in 2007. Mauritius also consolidated its lead position on the African continent as the best place for doing business.
In his address, Dr Padayachy spoke about the adoption of a new investment strategy. Investment, especially Foreign Direct Investment, is a sine qua non in our quest for growth to meet the aspirations of the development agenda of Mauritius, he indicated.
According to him, it is necessary to work towards diversifying inflows in sectors which are more innovative and productive. The Minister highlighted that a multipronged approach for a new investment strategy will henceforth focus on: prioritising investment in new and emerging sectors such as high-tech manufacturing, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, ICT, Smart Agriculture, Hospitality and the Ocean economy. Emphasis will also be on: improving productive capacity and efficiency by streamlining of processes to create an even more conducive business environment; and, broadening the economic space by developing bilateral relations with developed and emerging markets to increase captive demand for businesses.
The Minister also reassured that, Government, will strive to warrant that the redistribution of income from GDP growth is made fairer, and will build on what has been done to improve the quality of life in Mauritius. The negative income tax, the minimum wage and the increase in pensions have contributed in this improvement in welfare for those at the lower end of the income spectrum, he added.
For his part, the Chairman of EDB, Mr Charles Cartier observed that at this juncture, and while the Doing Business report remains a yardstick to measure the depth of reforms, it is important for all to understand that doing business extends much beyond the indicators used by international institutions. This is precisely why it is important for stakeholders to be conscious of ground realities, address shortcomings to ensure smooth investment entries, but also think much ahead in terms of how we want our investment climate to be in a technologically driven and a digitally disruptive world, he pointed out.
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