July 2013: Ocean Economy: A new sector in the making
On 22nd July 2013, the Prime Minister launched the National Dialogue on the Ocean Economy. At the very outset he stressed his determination to ensure “the widest possible participation of the nation in developing the right framework and policies” for the consolidation of ocean-related and the broadening of ocean-based activities, a sector envisioned as the next pillar of the national economy.
“This is a major project that will have far-reaching impact on the lives of generations to come,” said Dr the Honourable Navinchandra Ramgoolam. The Prime Minister’s statement captures in a nutshell the profound concern for a sustainable approach to economic development which will provide additional and durable livelihood for our nation at large.
The expanse and scope of our Exclusive Economic Zone revolutionize our concept of our State. Mauritius is no longer seen as that small island with an exiguous land mass. It is a Large Ocean State with jurisdiction over 1.9 million square kilometers of marine resources, with an additional 396,000 square kilometers on the Continental Shelf which it co-manages with the Republic of Seychelles.
The Dialogue has underscored the need for a nationally responsible approach in tapping the resources of our ocean space and its economic potential, the urgency to elaborate legal and regulatory frameworks for its exploration and exploitation, the challenges, the costs and benefits of the pursuit, the direction of research and the generation of knowledge, the need for curriculum rethinking and development for capacity building, the priority for building scientific databases and carrying out scientific analyses, the role of new talents and transfer of technological know-how, the change in our perception of Mauritius Incorporation, the necessity for institutional synergies and collaboration, the advantages of fruitful public and private partnership, and, not least, the grooming of regional cooperation.
Since the development of the ocean economy is an all-inclusive project, the dialogue continues as planned. All stakeholders have been invited to share their proposals via the special web site at www.investmauritius.com/ oceaneconomy.
A planned and full-grown ocean economy cannot but contribute to long-term national development and prosperity.
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