Mauritius government to promote co-ops as part of economic development programme

The island nation has more than 700 co-ops engaged in 40 different socio-economic activities

Co-ops and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are expected to play a crucial role in driving modernisation and sustainability in Mauritius, said the government.

Speaking before the country’s National Assembly, the minister of industrial development, small and medium enterprise (SMEs) and co-operatives, Soomilduth Bholah, highlighted some of the government’s programme for 2020-2024, which aims to achieve “an inclusive, high income and green Mauritius”.

The minister pointed out that across the country 700 active co-operatives are engaged in 40 different types of socio-economic activity. He said the programme would encourage them to enter new sector such as green energy. To encourage such initiatives, the government will install PV systems on 20 co-operatives free of charge and will explore further measures that might encourage co-ops to produce solar energy.

The government is also implementing a national export strategy while working on elaborating of export and investment promotion strategies for greater market diversification and broadening of the manufacturing base.

According to the minister, the Mauritius Standards Bureau is stepping up its efforts to promote standardisation and conformity assessment services among local economic operators in order to unlock new markets, and sharpen their competitiveness in the global market.

He said the traditional methods of production and the way of doing business have to be fundamentally revisited and manufacturers as well as service providers must move on to Intelligent Production powered by the internet of things, big data, artificial intelligence, robotics, and cloud technology.

The government is encouraging the adoption of energy efficiency technologies, recycling, minimisation of industrial waste and compliance with environmental certification in order to promote greener production practices for an eco-friendly system.

To support these efforts, the Mauritius Standards Bureau is collaborating with the regulatory authority to identify guidelines and standards for renewable energy with a view to implementing renewable energy standards.