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  ISSUE No. 63
Mauritius-Malaysia Business Forum

In the context of the National Day celebrations 2014, the Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia, Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohammed, visited Mauritius from 11 to 13 March 2014. As our guest of honour, he was accompanied by a Malaysian business delegation which comprised business leaders from various fields of activity, namely financial services, education, construction, seafood and healthcare.

Since the country’s independence in 1957, Malaysia’s economic performance has been remarkable. It is today the world's third largest manufacturer of solar heaters, with complete solar ecosystems, while leading South-East Asia's fastest growing oil and gas industry. It is ranked 6th in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report 2014 and it occupies the first place among the most popular emerging market destinations beyond the BRIC countries.

Mauritius Malaysia

In the context of that official visit, the Board of Investment, in collaboration with the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Enterprise Mauritius, organized a business forum at the Grand-Baie International Conference Centre on 12th March. The objective of the meeting was to generate partnership projects between Mauritian and Malaysian businessmen.

The Forum was officially launched by the Honourable Xavier-Luc Duval, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Mauritius. It saw the participation of the Malaysian delegation as well as high-level Mauritian businessmen.

The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection, Honourable Cader Sayed Hossen, highlighted the investment opportunities in Mauritius, while Honourable Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed underscored bilateral relations, emphasizing the characteristics shared by the two countries. Both are open economies and enjoy a strong footprint of multinational companies. The active role that the two nations play in regional organisations was also rehearsed. Malaysia is part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (comprising ten countries of the region including Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) while Mauritius plays a key role in SADC and the COMESA.

The Malaysian Minister of Commerce came to the conclusion that the two countries have a valuable stake in close collaboration and partnerships. They can open access for each other to two of the most important emerging markets, namely Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia.

The interactive session that followed the main presentations provided the ideal platform for Mauritian private sector operators to interact with the Malaysian businessmen and seek areas of collaboration. Various subjects were broached, for instance a bilateral treaty between Mauritius and Malaysia, the possibility of bringing Islamic finance to Africa’s doorstep through Mauritius, the opportunity for young Mauritian techno entrepreneurs to attend well-developed training programmes offered in Malaysia and the assistance of the Malaysian authorities to develop a framework for halal certification in Mauritius.

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