The Economic Development Board (EDB) of Mauritius has embarked on an ambitious project with the aim of attracting investment in the manufacturing of luxury goods. The goal is to position Mauritius as a premier destination for high-end products and establish the country as a ‘Hub’ for the luxury market. Funded by the European Union, the project was officially launched on Wednesday, July 19, at the Ravenala Hotel in Balaclava.
The grand inauguration of the “Development of High-end & Luxury Products in Mauritius” Roadmap was presided over by His Excellency, Mr. Vincent Degert, the Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Mauritius. Mr. Ken Poonoosamy, the CEO of EDB Mauritius, in his opening remarks, emphasized that the roadmap had the strategic objective of making Mauritius’ manufacturing sector more competitive, enabling it to venture into higher-value product segments, target affluent consumers, and command premium pricing. “With an unwavering commitment to innovation, cutting-edge technologies, and sustainable practices, the industry is poised for a revolutionary transformation”, he added.
Mr. Geerish Bucktowonsing, Director of Industry at EDB Mauritius, emphasized in his keynote speech the need to challenge conventional commercial production by promoting Mauritius as a prime destination and sourcing raw materials from Africa. He mentioned that the luxury sector offers immense potential for regional firms to ascend to higher-end products, enticing the Mauritius industry with the promise of higher profit margins and a focus on meticulously selected high-quality materials, precision, refinement, and superior craftsmanship.
The core objectives of the EDB’s project, funded by the European Union, are threefold:
- Enhance high-end exports to European luxury markets,
- Promote Mauritius as the focal point for luxury sourcing in the region, and
- Attract investments in luxury and high-end manufacturing of goods and components.
Mr. Emmanuel Gilet, the project consultant, has played a pivotal role in detailing the roadmap and conducting interactive meetings with businesses to increase their exposure to the demands of luxury goods buyers and explore investment perspectives in the manufacturing of high-end products.
This project involved 33 companies operating in various sectors, such as textile and apparel, leather, cosmetics, ship models, watches, jewellery, sugar, coffee, spirits, and printing and packaging. Extensive research has been conducted for each business to identify necessary steps for product and technology upgrading and to align their market philosophies with the new global perspective’s growing market potential.
Historically, Mauritius has maintained strong commercial and economic ties with Europe. Exports to the EU have included sugar, fish, clothing, and jewellery, with approximately half of Mauritius’ exports going to Europe, amounting to Rs. 27.2 billion in 2018 and Rs. 30.2 billion in 2022.
The luxury sector presents an exceptional opportunity for companies to gain a competitive edge. This market, predominantly dominated by Europe on a global scale, reached €1.15 trillion in 2021 and witnessed an impressive growth of 19% to 21% in 2022. By the end of this decade, it is projected that the luxury industry could generate up to €580 billion, with the consumer base expected to grow from 400 million to 500 million by 2030.
With this transformative project, Mauritius sets its sights on becoming a global leader in luxury goods, driven by innovation, sustainability, and exceptional craftsmanship.