Magazine article African Business

Mixed Welcome for Industry Monitor: Mauritius Launched an Industry 'Observatory' Last Month. the Facility Will Track Significant Business Trends around the Globe and Provide Information to Enable Businesses to Make Informed Decisions about Their Activities. but, as Nasseem Ackbarally Reports, Not Everyone Has Welcomed the Development

Magazine article African Business

Mixed Welcome for Industry Monitor: Mauritius Launched an Industry 'Observatory' Last Month. the Facility Will Track Significant Business Trends around the Globe and Provide Information to Enable Businesses to Make Informed Decisions about Their Activities. but, as Nasseem Ackbarally Reports, Not Everyone Has Welcomed the Development

Article excerpt

Launching the Industry Observatory in Port Louis a few weeks back. Industry Commerce and Consumer Protection Minister Cader SayedHossen said, "Knowledge, particularly of the global economy on what's happening in our export markets and in markets from where we source our raw materials, amongst others, is the most important element in business and the economic development of a country,"

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He explained that this was a platform that can support businesses in decision making. The facility is the first of its kind in Mauritius: it acts as a one-stop shop for timely and relevant business information to the business community and policy makers, who have time constraints, to access up to date and pertinent information, usually dispersed in complex formats.

"The objective is to bridge this information gap by scanning the domestic, regional and global business and economic environment for information dissemination to business operators, policy makers, academia and the public at large," said the Minister.

"The Observatory will serve as a key tool to connect business operators with the economic world to enable them to better grasp the issues at stake on the regional and global scene," he emphasised. In Mauritius, as elsewhere in Africa, entrepreneurs face huge challenges when starting a business, due to lack of information on procedures and the relevant clearances required. Even more critically, knowledge of foreign markets is difficult to come by.

"The business community can make use of this facility, for example, to penetrate untapped markets, such as Russia, that present a huge potential," Saved-Hossen said.

The information and data available at the Observatory relates to market trends, trade flows, the profiles of competitors and trade agreements. The information is filed under nine themes to ease access and retrieval by users: Economy Watch, Starting and Expanding a Business, Market intelligence, Agreements, Sustainable Development, Global Competitiveness, Industrial Statistics E-book, Trade Flows and Sectoral Briefs. Business decision makers will be able to leverage information available on the facility to monitor developments in the international business environment, review policies and formulate new strategies.

For example, the Economy Watch portal shows trends in major economic variables pertaining to the global economy. Economic data are changing rapidly and economic forecasts are often proved wrong by unforeseen and unpredictable events. Yet globalisation, involving interaction along supply chains, demands that business and policy decisions take into consideration developments in the global economic and business landscape.

Need for informed decisions

Industrial policy formulation and the need for informed business decisions justify a close watch on new challenges and opportunities from the global economic and business environment, through a constant scanning process. For example, data from the global economic environment show subdued growth in advanced economies and rapid expansion in emerging economies. This section provides intelligence on markets in advanced, emerging and regional economies.

For example, businessmen and entrepreneurs learn that there are numerous constraints in penetrating the Australian market, according to a study commissioned by Enterprise Mauritius, as well as from desk research. …

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