VENTURES AFRICA – Mauritius’ trade shortfall contracted 18.8 percent to 5.65 billion rupees in September this year compared to a year ago, Statistics Mauritius said on Friday.
This has been attributed mainly to a drop in imports which sagged 8.5 percent to 11.77 billion rupees.
Additionally, the value of food and live animals imports slipped to 2.02 billion rupees from 2.74 billion, it emerged on Friday.
The value of exports surged 3.6 percent to 6.12 billion rupees, on the back of improved machinery and transport equipment sales.
Britain was the foremost consumer of commodities from Mauritius during the comparable period.
It accounted for 19.8 percent of exports, while India supplied 20.7 percent of the Indian Ocean Island’s imports.
Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors.
For most of the period, annual growth has been in the order of 5 percent to 6 percent. This has been reflected in more equitable income distribution, increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much-improved infrastructure.
The economy rests on sugar, tourism, textiles and apparel and financial services, and is expanding into fish processing, information and communications technology, hospitality and property development.
Sugarcane is grown on about 90 percent of the cultivated land area and accounts for 15 percent of export earnings. The government’s development strategy centers on creating vertical and horizontal clusters of development in these sectors.
Mauritius has attracted more than 32.000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India, South Africa, and China.
Investment in the banking sector alone has reached over $1 billion. Mauritius, with its strong textile sector, has been well poised to take advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Mauritius’ sound economic policies and prudent banking practices helped to mitigate negative effects from the global financial crisis in 2008-09. GDP grew more than 4 percent per year in 2010-11, and the country continues to expand its trade and investment outreach around the globe.