Following the lockdowns due to the Covid 19 pandemic that disrupted the Africa’s development trajectory and the ripple effect of the Russia-Ukraine war on food security and supply that has slowed down progress towards achieving SDG2, which is zero hunger by 2030, to restart the African countries economies, much emphasis has been laid on the necessity of a regional value chain, intra-african trade for preventing future ruptures in the supply of raw materials and end products. This is to boost intra-trade in Africa that will seek to ensure food availability and tackle price volatility across the value & supply chain.
Most African countries are now embracing this approach; to strengthen intra-regional trade and firm up measures for seamless exchange of goods and services and to ultimately ensure food sufficiency. In light of this, the Economic Development Board of Mauritius initiated a Trade and Investment Forum on 13th Oct 2022 that aimed at broadening and strengthening development partnerships between Kenya and Mauritius.
In his opening address, the chairman of the EDB, Mr Hemraj Ramnial emphasized on the global economic context characterized with increased uncertainty and risks on Food security and supply chain brought by Covid-19 and Ukraine-Russia War.
This situation calls for governments, policy makers and decision takers to accelerate the development agenda in favor of economic diversification and strengthening all Industries to be more competitive. – He emphasized
He encouraged proposed operators to take up the opportunities for innovative and impactful industrial change in partnership, with all stakeholders.
I am sure that, as we all work together, hand in hand, we shall be more effective to unlock obstacles, build bridges and generate the necessary synergy.- Mr Hemraj Ramnial, President EDB Mauritius
Mauritius has evolved into the manufacture of refined and advanced products for niche markets. The industry platform of Mauritius has evolved to industries manufacturing medium to high-end garments, sanitary wares and designer furniture, medical devices, electronic products and even medical ambulances assembled in Mauritius.
He strongly stressed that, Mauritius & Kenya being COMESA members brings the additional advantage of duty free for sourcing regionally. Kenya can source amongst sanitary appliances, medical ambulance (assembled in Mauritius), high end furniture, spirits and many more at preferential duty rates.
On the investment front operators considering Joint Ventures in Mauritius will stand to benefit from access to regional market through SADC membership as well as take advantage of the freight rebate scheme. This mechanism was put in place to provide an additional cost incentive to export regionally, provide a refund of USD 300 for a 20 feet container or refund of 25% of Ocean freight cost for sea cargo costs (applicable to more than 40 ports of Africa).
Mr Bucktowonsing, the director of industry Mauritius, encouraged operators to consider shifting from Asian imports in favor of viable intra-trade opportunities and using Mauritius to penetrate the SADC market & beyond.
Also, for Mauritian companies, Kenya can become the distribution focal point for Mauritius products. This will contribute to increased intra-African trade. The Government of Mauritius, through the EDB, is looking forward to welcoming a delegation of business leaders from private sector of Kenya to Mauritius early in 2023.
KEPSA serves as a federation of over 80 Associations and professional bodies. Ms Angela Nga’nga, Vice Chair of KEPSA Economic Diplomacy Sector Board related to the Strategic Business Unit (SBU) set up within KEPSA, as a result of strategic partnerships formed around the world and in Kenya. This SBU’s sole purpose is to enhance trade and investments partnerships both locally and internationally. She looks forward to supporting opportunities to collaborate, either through direct investments in Mauritius or through partnerships with Mauritian businesses.
Hon. David Osiany, HSC , the Chief Administrative Secretary for the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade & Enterprise Development said,
This government has special focus on investment, which is heavily incentivized through special economic zones, I invite entrepreneurs to take advantage of this scheme targeting both local and international market.
He further said that,
like Mauritius Kenya exports abundantly to America, so we invite you to expand trade and work through Kenya, to reach out to the regional market. So welcome to Kenya.”
The event also benefitted from the collaboration of the Kenya Private Sector Association, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and United Business Association of Kenya.
The 25 companies from Mauritius representing multiple sectors including Food processing, Textile and Apparel, Electronic products, Office and high-end furniture, Rum and spirits, Marbles and Stone products, Metal products, Printing, Packaging, Labelling and agrochemicals amongst others met local operators, businesses and entrepreneurs on the 14th of October 2022 at Mercure Hotel Upper hill.
We have to take it upon ourselves to work together, to support, grow and build Africa for ourselves to strengthen regional value chain and secure the future of our generations to come. Africa depends on me and you, joining hands together to make it admirably great for us and to the rest of the world. Let’s grow Intra-african trade to boost our food security & increase supply starting now! – Milkaela Mwangura MD Eminence Global PR
Eminence Global PR is delighted to be the communications partner for Mauritius Trade & Investment forum in Kenya.
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