LEADING MAURITIUS FREEPORT POISED TO BECOME STRATEGIC GATEWAY BETWEEN ASIA AND AFRICA

31
  • Freeport and Logistics Week event showcased Mauritius Freeport as an ideal logistics, distribution and value addition platform between Africa, Asia and Europe.
  • The event leveraged the recent ranking of the Mauritius Freeport in the Annual Global Free Zones of the Year 2021 by fDi intelligence magazine, a specialist division of the Financial Times.

Dubai, UAE: To celebrate 30 years since the inception of the Mauritius Freeport in 1992, the Economic Development Board (EDB) – Mauritius hosted a dedicated event during Expo 2020 to showcase the Freeport’s world-class infrastructure and highlight its potential as a regional trade hub.

The Freeport and Logistics event took place from 21-25 February at the One and Only, Royal Mirage, Dubai, led by the Hon. Soodesh Callichurn, Minister of Labour, Human Resource Development, Training and Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection. H.E. Amb. Showkutally Soodhun, G.C.S.K, Ambassador of the Republic of Mauritius to the United Arab Emirates & Deputy Commissioner General for the Mauritius Pavilion as well as the Chairman of the EDB, Mr. Hemraj Ramnial CSK, were also part of the delegation.

The Mauritius Freeport was recently ranked runner-up worldwide, surpassed only by Dubai Multi Commodity Centre (DMCC), and number one across Africa at the prestigious Annual Global Free Zones of the Year 2021 awards. The world-renowned accolades were awarded in October 2021 by fDi intelligence magazine, recognising freezones’ abilities to navigate the global covid-19 pandemic.

His Excellency Mr. Showkutally Soodhun (GCSK), Ambassador of the Republic of Mauritius to the UAE and Deputy Commissioner General for the Mauritius Pavilion, said: “The Mauritius Freeport has come a long way since its humble beginnings, and following years of progressive development, is well-positioned to serve as a key logistics hub connecting Asia to Africa. Our award-winning infrastructure, state-of-the-art facilities and adherence to international best practices have resulted in a robust freezone located in the heart of Africa that has proven to be resilient amid the global challenges presented by covid-19.

“Our presence at Expo 2020 provided the perfect backdrop against which to celebrate both our 30th anniversary and our recent highly acclaimed awards alongside our strategic partners in the region. Themed Roots of the Future, the Mauritius Pavilion depicts the intrinsic values of the idyllic Island as it transforms into a conflict-free and resourceful nation that is continuously re-inventing its socio-economic landscape. Through our delegation, we hope to have provided a glimpse into what our Freeport has to offer businesses and investors in the region, and demonstrated the pivotal role that Mauritius can play in strengthening trade ties between Asia and Africa.”

The superior and modern logistics infrastructure is a major element in Mauritius’ proposition as a value-adding distribution platform. Freeport facilities include dry warehouses, cold rooms, processing units and integrated office facilities.

As an active member of the World Free Zones Organisation (WFZO) and Africa Economic Zones Organisation (AEZO), Mauritius Freeport members can benefit from business trade support, industrial investment stimulation, international marketing benchmarking, and business alliances and partnerships between other member states. Mauritius offers market access to 68 percent of the world’s population following several global agreements that offer compelling advantages to businesses.

Trade in the Mauritius Freeport has increased in value and volume from MUR 23 billion and 347,000 tons in 2013 to MUR 29 billion and 517,000 tons in 2019. The built-up space in terms of cold and dry warehouses, processing units, open-air storage facilities and offices have also increased from 5,000 square metres in 1993 to 300,000 square metres in 2019. The Mauritius Freeport contributes around 0.6% to Mauritius’ GDP and employs 3,500 workers across 17 declared free zones and 220 active operators.

About Economic Development Board (EDB)

The Economic Development Board (EDB) marks a new beginning in the economic landscape of Mauritius. It heralds a new chapter in economic planning, investment, trade promotion and facilitation. The EDB commenced its operations as a statutory body in January 2018 following the merger between the Board of Investment, Enterprise Mauritius and the Financial Services Promotion Agency. The overarching objective of the EDB is to ensure greater coherence and effectiveness in implementing policies and draw the vision for the economic development path to be adopted to reach a high-income economy status, through sustainable and inclusive growth, whilst ensuring economic independence.

The mandate of EDB is to, inter alia, provide strong institutional support for strategic economic planning and ensure greater coherence and effectiveness in economic policy formulation; promote Mauritius as an attractive investment and business centre, a competitive export platform as well as an International Financial Centre (IFC); act as the main institution responsible for country branding for investment promotion; and facilitate both inward and outward investment and ensure a conducive business environment.

About Mauritius Pavilion:

The Mauritius Pavilion is located in the Opportunity District of Expo 2020 Dubai, close to the Al Wasl Plaza. The pavilion takes visitors on an interactive journey of the tropical paradise island of Mauritius. The design features floor projections and a textured seascape wall and forest, allowing the visitors to explore the splendid nature of Mauritius. The predominant colour of the pavilion is warm, bright, and inviting, reflecting Mauritian hospitality.

The Mauritius Pavilion also invites visitors to discover the country’s achievements and how they are intertwined with its past – “The Roots of the Future”. Visitors will also explore Mauritius’ role in linking the world to Africa.