Dear Valued Partners
More Exports, more Export destinations and more Products to Export from Mauritius……
‘ Exporting from Mauritius’ is the driving motto of Enterprise Mauritius. As per our 2013 Action Plan, TeamEM has started implementing its aggressive promotion campaigns in selected target markets. Our exporters are doing the extra mile to improve their product offerings in terms of quality, diversity and compliance to meet and even exceed buyers expectations. Our exporters of fresh fruits and vegetables were in Berlin, Germany to participate in ‘Fruit Logistica’, the world’s premier event for fresh produce. Our Textile and Apparel Manufacturers were in Paris, France at ‘Zoom by Fatex’ (Spring Collection) and in Las Vegas, USA at ‘Sourcing at Magic’, which was followed by a Contact Promotion Programme (CPP) in Los Angeles for B2B meetings with selected US buyers.
This market reach-out programme to expand Mauritius’ footprint, is being further strengthened with the following forthcoming events:-
• Participation in the European Seafood Show in Brussels, Belgium
• Participation in Foodex, Tokyo, Japan
• Buyers Sellers Meets in Kampala, Uganda and Kigali, Rwanda; and
• Participation in Source Africa, Cape Town, South Africa
It is highly comforting to feel the optimism and confidence of our exporters, who remain bullish in their export drive.
Fittingly, this optimism is premised on the strong performance of our exports last year and in January 2013 for which exports stood at Rs 3.34 bn (provisional figures) compared to Rs 3.07 bn for the corresponding period in 2012. This represents a 8.7% increase. Interestingly, the seafood sector steals the limelight outshining even the textile and apparel sector and returning an above expected result of 74.4% increase. TeamEM is confident that the textile and apparel, jewellery, agro products, light engineering and allied products will pick up from now on as we continue fostering stronger ties with the fast-growing emerging markets while properly nurturing our traditional markets. However, instead of larger orders with long delivery schedules, these orders are becoming smaller and smaller with shorter delivery dates. Time is to build stronger brand position in these markets, to improve our margin by offering value-added products and to graduate customer loyalty into brand ambassadors. News from our traditional markets is encouraging with both USA and UK posting retail sales growth in the last quarter of 2012 and in January and February 2013.
However, our optimism is set within a fast evolving global landscape with major regional integration initiatives, to promote trade and investment and which will have direct impact on Mauritian exports. These initiatives are:-
• The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which aims at strengthening the Asia-Pacific regional integration by creating a Free Trade Area. The countries involved are Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the USA. Japan has been invited to join the TPP;
• The EU-USA Trans-Atlantic Trade Agreement which will be the biggest trade deal ever negotiated between these two blocks; and
• The SADC-COMESA-EAC Tripartite Free Trade Area which aims at creating a 26 National African Common Market within 8 years.
Viewed from different perspectives, the above Regional Integration Initiatives represent both challenges as well as opportunities for Mauritius.
Looking from the opportunities perspectives, these initiatives will create markets for our products. Consequently, Mauritian exporters must start building their export readiness to become more competitive, create added value for their clients and to exceed compliance norms. Of late, following the Bangladesh textile factory fire, more and more buyers are imposing product traceability rules and other compliance requirements with regards to environment, child labour, health and safety issues among others.
In this regard, following bilateral talks between Hon. Cader Sayed-Hossen, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection and Hon. Anand Sharma, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Textiles, Republic of India, the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), an MOU Partner of Enterprise Mauritius, will assist ten Mauritian textile companies in building internal compliance to meet exigencies of global apparel buyers. TeamEM, together with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection will implement this laudable initiative. We will keep our valued partners informed of developments.
Moving forward, TeamEM will work with all its stakeholders to grow our exports from strength to strength and to firmly position Mauritius as a reliable and viable ‘Sourcing Destination’ for quality products. Please consult our Calendar of Events for 2013.
I wish you a pleasant reading and welcome your views, comments and suggestions.
Chief Executive Officer