GIS – 02 June 2020: The Textile and Apparel manufacturing industry must be revamped, by taking advantage of intelligent networking, so as to move towards Industry 4.0. For instance, Robotics and 3-D printing must be an integral part of the industry so as to evolve with modern and advanced technologies.
The Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, made this statement during a meeting held, today, with prominent exporters in the Textile and Apparel manufacturing industry, at the SME Mauritius Coromandel Branch Office, in Coromandel. The aim of this meeting was to adopt a collective and coordinated approach engaging all stakeholders to respond to the resulting threats and to identify new opportunities to reorient the sector for sustained development following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Minister Bholah highlighted that Mauritius exports some Rs 43 billion of products every year, out of which approximately Rs 22 billion account for Textile and Apparel manufacturing industry. This industry, he stated, employs around 31 000 persons but is now on its knees following the Covid-19 pandemic. However, some manufacturers are still receiving orders from the main markets, that is South Africa, United States of America and United Kingdom, despite the lack of visibility of the sector for the forthcoming months, he added.
Furthermore, the Minister urged the exporters to reassure their clients that, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, all factories, employees and logistics are ready to relaunch the textile and apparel production. He also underlined that a Standing Committee for the manufacturing sector, comprising his Ministry, the Mauritius Export Association and the Economic Development Board, holds a meeting on a monthly basis to take stock of the situation and work on the recovery of the sector and suitable marketing strategies.
Some exporters present for the meeting expressed their concerns with regards to the freight system due to the lack of flights over the past two months. They also informed the Minister that, despite the help received from Government through the Wage Assistance Scheme, they still have financial problems. Manufacturers also informed Minister Bholah that they have already sent their proposals to the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Planning to be considered in Budget 2020/2021.
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