Dear Valued Partners
This month Mauritius celebrated on 12 March, its 45th Independence Anniversary (21st Anniversary of the Republic Day) with zeal, fervour and grandiose. The President of the Republic of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, was the Chief Guest for the Independence Celebrations. Shri Pranab Mukherjee was received with the highest State honours for his three day State visit to Mauritius, his second overseas visit after assuming the post of President of India. This speaks volumes on the very strong economic, political, cultural and historical ties that bind our two friendly countries.
India is Mauritius’ leading trading partner and a major source of FDI. During his visit, Shri Pranab Mukherjee had one-to-one bilateral talks with the President of Mauritius, Mr Kailash Purryag and the Prime Minister, Dr The Honourable Navinchandra Ramgoolam. The President, Shri Mukherjee and the Prime Minister of Mauritius reaffirmed the commitment of India and Mauritius to further strengthen existing relations between the two countries. During this visit, several key Cooperation Agreements were signed between Mauritius and India. On the issue of the DTA between Mauritius and India, both leaders confirmed that ‘some common ground’ have already been found and a solution is imminent. Shri Pranab Mukerjee was also conferred with the Degree of ‘Doctor of Civil Law, ‘Honoris Causa’ by the University of Mauritius.
This State Visit goes a long way to further cementing the bonds of friendship and partnership that exist between Mauritius and India. Enterprise Mauritius is redefining its marketing strategy to meaningfully penetrate the Indian market with a range of selected products.
In 45 years, the island economy of Mauritius has transformed into a robust and vibrant Island States Economy achieving impressive growth on all fronts. The overall standard of living has improved substantially and the economy has diversified from a monocrop base on sugar into over twelve emerging industries with services sector accounting for over 70% of GDP (manufacturing constitutes 18% of GDP). The level of infrastructure is above par compared to peer countries and a general ‘feel good factor for living and doing business in Mauritius’ prevails. Both exports from Mauritius as well as FDI inflows into Mauritius have registered record levels last year and the prospect looks good for this year. For the first two months of 2013, the total EOE exports reached Rs 6.981 billion compared to Rs 6.433 billion for January to February 2012, representing an increase of 8.5%. This is in line with the 8.7% growth registered in January 2013 compared to the corresponding exports in January 2012.
The latest MCCI Business Economic Indicator, for the first quarter of 2013 shows that confidence has vastly improved and stands at 91.6 points, compared to 85.6 points in the last quarter of 2012.
This month Enterprise Mauritius launched its promotional campaign in Africa with two back to back Buyers Sellers Meetings in Kampala, Uganda and Kigali, Rwanda respectively. Several such focused marketing actions are planned in selected African countries as per the Calendar of Events of Enterprise Mauritius for 2013.
Mauritian products and services have found its niche in Africa and are accepted and well appreciated by the customers. However, we are far from becoming overnight sensation to replace established suppliers from China, India, Dubai and other countries. As we do not offer cheap substitutes for existing products, we have to adopt innovative marketing mix to work our way up, slowly but surely, the customer preference ladder by offering value for money products and unmatched delivery service levels. Mauritius is a ‘niche seeker’ and this calls for in-depth understanding of Africa’s needs, requirements, exigencies and sophistication. Our marketers must be alert, agile and innovative in their approach towards building sustainable business relations on the continent. At the same time, we have to be mindful of new sources of competition which can come out of nowhere and instantly be everywhere according to Larry Downes and Paul Nunes in their Big Bang Disruption Theory. (Harvard Business Review March 2013)
To help the Mauritian exporters have a stronger foothold in these emerging markets, Enterprise Mauritius has signed two Memoranda of Understanding with:-
- The Rwanda Development Board; and
- The Public Sector Foundation of Rwanda
While we accentuate our market diversification effort in Africa, we are also active on our traditional markets in France and USA with strong participation in Zoom by Fatex, Paris and Source at Magic, Las Vegas, USA. And for the first time ever, Mauritius will host a full-fledged Fashion Show to promote the textile and apparel sector in South Africa during Source Africa in Cape Town (9-12 April 2013). It is being creative, elegant and smart on these premium markets.
March was also the month for major changes of Guards at Key Private Sector Organisations:
- Mr Azad Jeetun has passed on the reign of MEF to Mr Pradeep Dursun (Acting)
- Mrs Danielle Wong is handing over to Miss Lilowtee Ramjan at MEXA.
- Mr Vincent D’Arifat passing on the presidency of AMM to Mr Gerard Boulé
There are also changes at the level of Chairmanship with incoming President Mr Hemraj Ramnial at MEXA and Mr Ganesh Ramalingum at MCCI.
TeamEM welcomes the new incumbents and looks forward to continuing the cordial relationship with the premier Private Sector Organisations to better serve our stakeholders and clients.
I wish you all a pleasant reading.
Chief Executive Officer