The Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, communicated, today, the latest figures as regards the export sector, as well as the various schemes provided by the Government to enhance the competitiveness of the export sector, during a press conference held in Port Louis.
The Minister informed that there was a decline of 0.9% in the Exported Oriented Enterprises (EOE) sector for the period January to September 2023, as compared to the corresponding period in 2022, with the amount going down from Rs 36,9 billion to Rs 36,6 billion. He justified this drop by mentioning challenges that the world was facing due to new threats resulting from the prolonged Ukraine-Russia war and the recent Israel-Palestine conflict, adding that these would continue to impact the global economic growth, according to the International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook of October 2023.
He observed that despite this decline, Mauritius remained a reliable and preferred sourcing destination to supply high-quality products to its leading exports destinations such as South Africa, followed by the United Kingdom (UK), the United States of America (USA) and France.
Furthermore, Mr Bholah gave an overview of the EOE performance of key subsectors for the same period as compared to 2022. These include: a decrease of 15.8% and 8.5% regarding textile and clothing, and jewellery and precious stones sectors, respectively, whereby an increase of 13.1% and 12.2% for the fish and fish related products, and medical devices sector, respectively, were noted. Other EOE sectors have also increased by a total of 24.4%.
The Minister also underscored that despite these challenging times, while the EOE exports to South Africa had gone down by 15.1%, an increase had been observed in exports to the UK and the USA by 8% and 15%, respectively.
In addition, Mr Bholah talked of recent export promotion activities where the Economic Development Board accompanied several local operators during their participation to international events such as the ANUGA Food Fair held in Germany from 7 to 11 October 2023, where confirmed orders to the tune of Rs 68.1 million were secured. At the Investment and Export Promotion Mission in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, and Botswana, from 30 October to 10 November 2023, orders to the tune of 275 000 US dollars were being negotiated.
Other major activities as regards the industrial development division include : the implementation of the ‘Manufacturing 4.0’ Project, with the assistance of the Commonwealth Secretariat, to support manufacturing enterprises adopt advanced technologies associated with Industry 4.0; the implementation of the project on ‘Accelerating the Transition to a Net-Zero Nature-Positive Economy in Mauritius’ which will span over five years with the main objective being to lead industry operators on a green and sustainable pathway for greater competitiveness; and the Energy Efficiency Audit Scheme for the Manufacturing Sector whereby large energy consumers in the manufacturing sector will benefit from a subsidy of 75% to carry out energy audits.