Magazine article International Trade Forum

Mauritius

Magazine article International Trade Forum

Mauritius

Article excerpt

Mauritius is an economic development success story. Success has been due largely to the effective planning and management of a series of national export strategies. Over the past 30 years, these strategies have moved Mauritius from a high-unemployment, mono-crop economy to one that is broad-based and characterized by nearly full employment, a significant manufacturing sector and a growing, internationally-oriented service sector.

The export success of Mauritius has been fuelled by foreign direct investment attracted by the country's political and social stability; a highly literate labour force; and preferential access to European Union and United States markets for sugar and textile exports. Circumstances are, nevertheless, changing. From experience, Mauritian planners have learned that an export strategy must be flexible and its development an ongoing process.

Mauritius's strategic approach

Support enterprise development.

An import substitution strategy produced entrepreneurs with skills and industrial experience. It exposed the labour force to a new working environment and business culture. It encouraged Mauritian consumers to buy more locally-produced goods.

Anticipate shifting circumstances and competitive advantages.

Mauritius is now focusing on obtaining greater efficiency in traditional foreign exchange earning industries: sugar, textiles and tourism. In parallel, it is developing the export-earning capacities of manufacturing and non-sugar agriculture, as well as financial, commercial and maritime services that can be exported regionally. …

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