Find Industry and Manufacturing expertise in Mauritius
According to the Mauritian Budget for 2013 the manufacturing sector contributed an estimated 17.7% to Mauritius’ total GDP for 2011 (KPMG, 2012). This is a marked decrease in manufacturing’s contribution since 2006, when the manufacturing sector, not including sugar, contributed about 19% of the country’s industry GDP. The manufacturing sector as a whole contributed around 27% (2006). This may in part be due to the manufacturing sectors exposure to the economic crisis and the accompanying decrease in the purchasing power of Mauritius’ trade partners in Europe. In 2011 the manufacturing sector in Mauritius employed approximately 77,000 employees, roughly 26% of the Mauritian labour force (KPMG, 2012).
The Mauritian manufacturing sector has traditionally been dominated by textiles and sugar production. In 2010 the industrial sector in Mauritius was responsible for producing 452, 473 tonnes of sugar. More recent diversification into jewellery production, optical goods manufacture, furniture making, light engineering and electronic components manufacture and assembly has expanded the sector (Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry 2010).
Major players in the manufacturing sector of the country include: Tamak, a t-shirt design and production company employing 150 workers, with an eco-friendly production site which includes full sewing, printing and embroidery facilities; also Terragri Ltd who are responsible for managing 6,000 hectares of sugar cane land in the northern part of the island, along with sister company Terra Milling Ltd who concentrate in the production of specialty sugars.
Mauritius is a key exporter of goods to the United States and parts of Europe; the main products for export include: clothing and textiles 20%; fish products 11%; and raw sugar cane 11%. Major products imported into the country include refined petroleum oils which comprise 19% of the country’s total yearly imports, a vast majority of Mauritius’ imported goods come from India, China and France (The Observatory of Economic Complexity, 2010).
In the past several measures have been undertaken by the government to attempt to stimulate additional investments in the manufacturing and textile sectors. The most significant action was setting corporate tax at 15%, with duty free imports of inputs and machinery, as well as free repatriation of profits. More recently the Mauritian Budget 2013 contained measures which may have an impact on the manufacturing sector. The government allocated a budget of MUR 130 Million to Enterprise Mauritius for the development of an overseas market for manufacturing companies, in the hope of making the Mauritian market more involved in international trade. Furthermore the budget also gives firms the option of applying for a 50% accelerated depreciation of plant machinery and equipment.
The 2012-2013 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness report rated Mauritius as 47 out of 144 countries for production process sophistication, with an overall score of 4.1 out of 7 with 7 being the most desirable. This is an impressive score for the area, with the neighbouring country of Seychelles ranking 101 out of 144 with an overall score of 3.2 (2013).
A major body involved in promoting the Mauritian manufacturing sector is Enterprise Mauritius. Enterprise Mauritius is a joint partnership between the Mauritian public and a private sector which serves to support the growth and development of locally based manufacturing companies on both an international and local basis.
A key institution in the Mauritian sugar trade is the Mauritius Sugar Producers’ Association (MSPA), which was founded in 1947 and represents the interests of the sugar sector in Mauritius. The MSPA is responsible for dealing with government organizations, as well as local and international institutions amongst others. Membership is voluntary.