GIS - 03 December, 2013: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at strengthening the collaboration between Mauritius and India in the field of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) development was signed yesterday in Port Louis by the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Jangbahadoorsing Seetaram, and the Indian Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise, Mr K.H. Muniyappa.
The MoU will help Mauritius to benefit from capacity building as well as technical know-how for the setting up of incubators and Information Technology services. It will also assist local SMEs to diversify in other fields and introduce new products, in line with the vision to make Mauritius a nation of entrepreneurs.
In his address, Minister Seetaram said that the MoU will open new avenues in the field of SMEs, given that India is recognised internationally for the predominant socio-economic role of its micro, small and medium enterprises which contribute significantly to the economic growth of the country. He expressed his confidence that Mauritius will greatly benefit from Indian expertise and know-how, especially in the field of promotion and development of SMEs.
Mr Seetaram recalled that the SMEs sector in Mauritius has a very significant contribution in the GDP growth (40%) and provides 54% of employment of the total working population. Small and Medium enterprises play a crucial in the economy by fostering growth, creating employment, and helping in the process of democratising the economy, he said.
As regards recent schemes put forward by the Government to empower SMEs, Minister Seetaram outlined that a Financing scheme to the tune of Rs 3 billion has been introduced over a period of three years. Furthermore, the 2014 budget makes provision for a Loan without Collateral scheme.
For his part, the Indian Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise, Mr K.H. Muniyappa, recalled that India and Mauritius have been enjoying most cordial and friendly relations dating as far back as early 19th century. He said that the two countries have great prospects for synergising their complementarities in areas of industry, services, trade and technology. As regards the MoU, he pointed out that it will be an important initiative to synergize strengths in favour of the development of the SMEs sector in both countries.
The SMEs sector in India comprises a total of 36 million units and employs some 80 million workers. They contribute 45% of the manufacturing output and over 40% of India’s aggregate exports.
“India’s SMEs sector is a vibrant, progressive and highly flexible hub of entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity. It has proved itself resilient and adaptive to market conditions and has continually reinvented itself to align with global realities”, said Mr Muniyappa.
Minister Muniyappa was on a three-day visit to Mauritius from 30 November to 2 December 2013. The visit of the Indian Minister is one of the positive outcomes of the mission of Minister Seetaram to India in September 2013 during which two MoUs were signed with the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India and the National Small Industries Corporation.
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