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4 Mar 2024 • Business Facilitation • Development

EDB Hosts Conference on New Trade Agreements to Boost Business Growth

The Economic Development Board (EDB) organized a conference on Friday, March 1, 2024, at its premises in Ebene, aimed at empowering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including women and young entrepreneurs, about the potential business opportunities and growth that can result from free trade agreements.

The event shed light on the benefits of the trade agreements that came into effect in 2021, such as the Mauritius-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA), the Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement, and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

During the conference, Mr. Hemraj Ramnial, CSK, Chairman of EDB, emphasized the need for local business owners to leverage the new markets created by these agreements, citing the successful trade relationships Mauritius has fostered with the EU and USA. He underscored the vast potential of markets in India, Africa, and China for Mauritius exports.

Mr. Geerish Bucktowonsing, Director of Industry, SMEs, Freeport & Logistics, highlighted the crucial role SMEs play in the country’s economy, contributing significantly to GDP and employment. “They are the ‘blood of our economy’, contribute 40% to our GDP and employ more than 251,000 persons”, he added. Mr Bucktowonsing provided valuable market insights on the requirements for trade and services in Africa, China, and India.

Participants at the conference also learned about the various support schemes available through the Development Bank of Mauritius (DBM) and SME Mauritius Ltd., further underscoring the commitment to empowering local businesses towards sustainable growth.

This event was made possible through the contribution of the following institutions: National Women Entrepreneurs Council (NWEC), SME Mauritius Ltd, National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC), Association Mauricienne des Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises (AMFCE), Development Bank of Mauritius (DBM) and Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI).

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