Mauritius is at a cross-roads. The dismantlement of the MFA has eroded the protection that its textile and garments sector, once the major source of foreign exchange, formerly enjoyed. The reform of the EU sugar regime in the context of the ongoing multilateral trade negotiations will have dire effects on the local economy by ending the preferential pricing that characterised the Sugar Protocol. Pending multilateral trade liberalisation and the proliferation of Free Trade Agreements will further erode the preferential margins that allowed local industries and agro-industries to capture a share of the world market. Mauritius is therefore compelled to look for alternatives to its traditional exports so as to ensure continued growth and a reasonable standard of living for its population.
The country is responding by introducing a radical reform of trade and investment policy. The ODI team is assisting by helping to support national efforts to create a road map for the development of professional services that will capitalise on the new economic policy.