GIS - 27 February, 2020: The Industrial Policy and Strategic Plan 2020-2025 for Mauritius is expected to be ready by June 2020. In this context, a consultative workshop was held, today, at the Intercontinental Mauritius Resort in Balaclava to serve as a platform for stakeholders to share a clear set of perspectives on the potential of the manufacturing sector, including identification of bottlenecks and policy enablers to ensure optimal growth.
The workshop organised by the Ministry of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives in collaboration with United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has as objective to propel the manufacturing sector to higher growth through the emergence of innovation-led, high value, knowledge-intensive, fashion driven and technology-enabled activities. Some 80 participants from the public and private sector were present to discuss their views, expectations and proposals for a re-dynamised industrial sector in Mauritius. The workshop was conducted by International Consultant, Professor Justin Barnes, and resource persons from UNCTAD, namely Professor Pierguiseppe Fortunato, Professor Mike Morris and Professor Fiona Tregenna.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives at the opening ceremony, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Fatwma Abdool Raman-Ahmed, expressed her gratitude to UNCTAD for extending financial and technical support to Mauritius in devising the Policy. This platform will indeed result in elaborated proposals to establishing a robust, resilient and innovative industrial strategic plan for the next five years, she said.
She underlined that the manufacturing sector, in spite of the unprecedented challenges, has been resilient with positive growth rates over the years. The manufacturing sector as at now, she indicated, contributes around 13% to Gross Domestic Product and employs some 97 000 persons. Yet, the ongoing changing landscape, she said, calls for a new perspective to respond to the upcoming challenges adding that the formulation of an Industrial Policy and Strategic Plan is central to move to the next phase of industrial development.
For his part, the Senior Economist from UNCTAD, Prof Fortunato said that UNCTAD is willing to help Mauritius to devise an Industrial Policy and Strategic Plan based on innovation to deal with the obstacles and the challenges facing the manufacturing sector. They are namely the country’s dependency on external markets, loss of competitiveness, deficiency in technologies to produce value-added products and barriers to connectivity. He also spoke on the need and the possibilities to enhancing production, increasing productivity, and improving skills of the workforce so as to reinvent the Mauritian manufacturing sector.
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