Pacific and Business Mauritius Strengthen South-South Cooperation and Private Sector Development
21 February 2022 – The Pacific Islands Forum is building cooperation and enhancing trade opportunities between the Pacific Islands and Mauritius.
This collaboration brings together the Pacific private sector – businesses, industry, and employer organisations – and Business Mauritius, the peak body representing over 1200 companies in Mauritius. Sharing lessons and best-practice is part of South-South cooperation and strengthening Small Islands Developing States partnerships, particularly for post-COVID economic recovery.
Mauritius continues to lead on the global stage, ranking number one in Africa for its consistent ease-of-doing-business policies and mechanisms according to a 2020 World Bank Report. Key features contributing to Mauritius’ rapid development include political stability, good governance, accountability, diversified economic sector trajectories, policy reform implementation and most importantly, continued public- private partnership.
Today, the Pacific Islands Forum and Business Mauritius have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which involves a Joint Cooperation Framework (JCF).
This Cooperation Framework targets five pillars; Economic Advocacy; Private Sector and Sustainable Development; Ease-of-Doing-Business and Policy Examinations; International Trade Cooperation; and a Peer-to-Peer Programme with Business Mauritius. The five pillars advance regional priorities under the Pacific Aid-for-Trade Strategy 2020-2025.
The Pacific Islands Forum Acting Secretary General, Dr. Filimon Manoni stated “Forum Trade Ministers pointed to the importance of prioritizing regional private sector needs. This Partnership with Business Mauritius will allow us to boost economic recovery through diversification in sectors such as tourism, fisheries, agriculture, and ICT.”
Mr. Kevin Ramkaloan, CEO of Business Mauritius stated: “The signing of this joint cooperation framework comes at a time when Business Mauritius has engaged on a path of greater international cooperation on business development and private-sector engagement. We are convinced that the business communities of Mauritius and the Pacific Islands have a lot to learn from one another on various key areas such as energy transition, circular economy, protection of the biodiversity, and inclusive development. Both parties can also learn from each other’s experience when it comes to regional cooperation with a view to developing meaningful best practices.”
Mr. Zarak Khan, PIF Director – Programmes and Initiatives, highlighted the JCF as an important milestone for the Pacific region, noting it will “support trade policies that capitalize on technology for trade, employment and private sector development. We want to grow opportunities for business and investment, and technical support for SMEs and larger businesses”.
The Framework builds on the reaffirmation by Forum Trade Ministers at the 2021 Forum Trade Ministers Meeting (FTMM), on the importance of key strategic partnerships to boost Members’ opportunities, global competitiveness, and support the successful mobilisation of resources and expertise towards economic improvement.
The JCF between PIFS and Business Mauritius will begin with the Peer-to-Peer learning mission in Mid 2022 of Pacific Private Sector Representatives and Companies to Mauritius. –ENDS
Pacific Islands Forum: Lisa Williams-Lahari, Email Lisaw@forumsec.org
Business Mauritius: Gina Desveaux, Email email@example.com