April 2019: Inclusiveness & Innovation at the heart of an invigorated economy
It is a privilege for me to pen my very first editor’s note in this newsletter eight months after taking office as CEO of the Economic Development Board. I am now in a better position to share my vision for the organisation and also for the economic development of Mauritius. This initial phase akin to scouting has allowed me to draw on the vast network and knowledge acquired during my career so far to impress a style of work of my own. One of the reasons I rely on some key stages of my career, especially in Asia, is the fact that, through these experiences, I was able to lay the foundations of new structures and collaborative methodologies that are still proving to be successful. It is the same mission that I am pursuing today with the Economic Development Board of Mauritius and my achievements so far allow me to address this challenge with reasonable experience.
Although a small island State with limited natural and human resources, Mauritius enjoys an enviable position on the international scene. The country is indeed recognized as a prosperous and stable economy. Mauritius has demonstrated ingenuity, ambition and dexterity in its international relations, which has allowed it to develop a certain resilience resulting in solutions that rightly serve its economic needs.
As the body responsible for the country's strategic economic planning, EDB strives to build on this resilience which is inherent to the Mauritian economy. To sharpen our mission not only in terms of promoting the country internationally, but also as a facilitator for the strengthening of existing industries and the emergence of new sectors, we rely primarily on an economic strategy based on a three-pronged approach: ‘Accelerate - Diversify – Innovate’. This translates to accelerating the development of established sectors, diversifying investments in high-growth sectors, and innovating, especially in the high-tech sector.
We have taken several bold measures for an optimal implementation of this strategy geared towards the socio-economic development of the country. Hence the emphasis on cooperation by consensus, with the involvement of all actors, from the private sector to government and civil society. This is vital in the quest to build a thriving economy. It is with this in mind that the EDB is currently supporting the government's efforts by acting as a facilitator in the pre-budget consultations initiated by the National Economic and Social Council (NESC).
On the promotion front, the approach taken by the EDB in recent months demonstrates a desire to be close to existing and potential markets with a view to promoting the multi-dimensional aspect of Mauritius as the preferred destination for business and investment. We are therefore focusing on the diversification of several industries, including the manufacturing sector, and the emergence of new industries. At the same time, we are creating the synergy required between all stakeholders to ensure the effective implementation of an ecosystem which is conducive to the realisation of projects submitted for our assessment.
The recent months were also marked by the strengthening of bilateral ties with our historical partners such as Mozambique, Madagascar and Kenya. The EDB intends to bring a paradigm shift in this respect by widening the geographical scope through the strengthening of dialogue with partner countries on the one hand, and the diversification of export markets and sources of investment on the other. The presence of the Head of States of these three countries in the business forums recently organized by the EDB shows a clear intention to build together a common productive base.
However, all these actions would prove unsuccessful if we do not have a system that allows us to measure the impact of what we do. This is what allows us to refine or adjust our strategies and actions. The EDB thus devised and introduced a performance indicator system within the whole organisation to rigorously monitor trade, investment, business facilitation and customer satisfaction.
Mauritius today has no choice but to create the conditions for an inclusive economy that can guarantee an equitable distribution of wealth. The initiatives taken by EDB so far demonstrate its key role in this rationale aimed at encouraging the emergence of a new fundamental structure for all sectors that are vital to the consolidation and diversification of our economy.