A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on technical assistance in project management and contract administration was signed between the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development and the Infrastructure and Project Authority (IPA) of the United Kingdom (UK), yesterday morning, at the Caudan Arts Centre in Port-Louis. The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, the British High Commissioner to Mauritius, Ms Charlotte Pierre, and the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of IPA, Mr Matthew Vickerstaff, were present.
It recalled that the Strategic Trade Partnership Agreement came into force on 17 April 2023 to help boost trade and investment between Mauritius and the UK across priority sectors such as financial and professional services, infrastructural development, waste management, green economy, education, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and agritech, among others.
The Finance Minister indicated that a scoping mission from the IPA was currently in Mauritius from 15 to 19 May 2023 to take cognizance of the areas of assistance and necessary resources. He thanked the British High Commission for facilitating this collaboration between the Ministry and the IPA, adding that it came at an opportune time when the Government was investing in key projects for the welfare of the population.
“Investment,” he underlined, “is crucial to sustain economic momentum and ensure a robust and sustainable growth on the medium and long term.” “We are committed to increase the ratio of investment to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), currently at 19.8%, through a well-articulated infrastructure programme,” stated Dr Padayachy.
“The Mauritius-UK cooperation,” he said, “will improve our toolkit to develop affordable and viable infrastructure projects within agreed timeline and budget.” He mentioned that the IPA would provide strategic support to authorities so as to improve their infrastructure development frameworks and project delivery capabilities regarding Government’s projects and public-private partnerships.
Minister Padayachy further highlighted that infrastructure was a key component of the national inclusive growth strategy and Government was fully engaged in providing clean water, decent homes, as well as modern drainage and road networks. “It is crucial to continue to expand economic opportunities, create jobs, improve competitiveness of businesses, and unleash the people’s potentials,” he stressed.
As for the British High Commissioner, she remarked that the Strategic Trade Partnership Agreement was a landmark agreement between Mauritius and the UK that brought an opportunity to further enhance the longstanding friendly ties between the two counterparts. “The UK,” she stressed, “is proud to be working with a country like Mauritius, which is investing in efficient and resilient infrastructure for its citizens, boosting private investment, and promoting productivity and trade.”
“Mauritius, as an ocean nation, is among the most developed countries in the African continent and has a real potential for renewable energy and sustainable development,” she said, while reiterating the UK’s commitment to continue supporting Mauritius in its endeavours.
For his part, Mr Vickerstaff dwelt on the similarities between the UK and Mauritius as island nations that faced common challenges. “A long-term collaboration between the two countries,” he stated, “is key to addressing the impacts of climate change and deal with the aftermath effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. He indicated that the IPA would guide Mauritius to enable greater private sector investment in infrastructure, and improve the Government’s long-term planning as regards implementation and delivery of projects.