Africa Partnership Conference: l’intégralité du discours de Pravind Jugnauth

Développement de l’Afrique : Maurice peut contribuer de manière significative dit Pravind Jugnauth
Notre pays est bien placé pour contribuer de manière significative pour attirer, mobiliser et canaliser les ressources financières nécessaires au développement de l’Afrique. Des propos signés Pravind Jugnauth ce matin à Balaclava lors de l’Africa Partnership Conference. Il a précisé que 25 % des investissements privés en Afrique sont passés par notre centre financier international. Après la conférence, le ministre des Finances a évoqué l’objectif de cette rencontre.

Voici l’intégralité du discours de Pravind Jugnauth
Your Royal Highness, Princess Abze Djigma
Honorable James Duddridge

Ladies and Gentleman
It is indeed a great pleasure to address you all at this Africa Partnership Conference on the theme Creating Shared Value through Sustainable Investment.

Let me at the very outset wish your Royal Highness, Princess Abze Djigma, the Honourable James Duddridge and all foreign delegates a very warm welcome to Mauritius. I wish you all a pleasant stay in our country.

I would like also to commend the Board of Investment Mauritius and the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) for this initiative.

I understand that this Conference brings together 19 Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) from sub Saharan Africa and some 150 potential investors from 25 countries across the world. This wide and high-level participation is very encouraging. It augurs well for our efforts to attract FDI flows into Africa and to promote intra-Africa investment flows.

This platform to harness collective efforts in promoting investments in Africa is quite innovative. It moves our countries from the beaten track of traditional investment promotion to one that pools together the resourcefulness of our IPAs for better and mutually beneficial outcomes.

As the African proverb says “if you want to go fast, go alone. if you want to go far, go together”.

In fact, Africa has far to go and a lot to achieve.

Looking ahead, we see a new light beckoning Africa to an era of greater prosperity with the promises of higher standards of living for our people, less poverty, and more sustainable growth.

Yet it will require tremendous policy efforts and massive mobilization of resources.

Notwithstanding the progress achieved in the past few years at the economic level, Africa still faces huge deficits on many fronts. I am here referring to Africa’s deficit in terms of infrastructure. It is estimated that some USD 500 billion of investment will be needed over the next five years – in telecommunications, energy, water, and road networks, amongst others.

As a continent, we spend billions of dollars on food imports. Yet Africa holds some sixty five percent of all the arable land left to feed the world by 2050. It is a paradox for Africa to be a net food-importing region.

And despite a surge in FDI inflows in past years and policies focused on value creation through the processing of raw materials, the manufacturing sector as a share of GDP still lags far behind that of the industrialised nations.

Interestingly, these deficits are also opportunities – opportunities for activating a virtuous circle of investment that will create jobs, raise the standard of living, reduce poverty, stimulate demand, all leading to yet more investment and growth.

It is in that spirit that Mauritius has set out a new Africa Strategy which rests on three main pillars:

Pillar number one is about ‘Partnership for Development.’ Our aim is to focus on collaborative learning models to share innovative, adaptable and cost-efficient solutions to address our development challenges.

Pillar number two is about an ‘Innovative G2G Approach’. This focuses on a new model for boosting cross-border investment and trade – one that transcends multilateral efforts and the traditional signing of bilateral investment and taxation agreements. In this context, I should add that today’s conference is an innovation that we must carry through to impactful outcomes.

Pillar number three is about ‘Capacity Building’. This centers on building human and institutional capacity, attracting FDI, and encouraging the transfer of technology and knowledge.

In pursuit of that strategy, we have taken a series of actions to consolidate our relations with other African nations and to open up new avenues for cooperation and economic integration.

Indeed, we are opting increasingly for programmatic MOUs geared towards economic, technical, and financial cooperation. As a case in point, we have signed four such memoranda with Ghana, Madagascar, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire to set up Special Economic Zones in those countries. In that context, the Government established the Mauritius Africa Fund, to spearhead the initiatives of Mauritian businesses in other African countries.

In addition to mobilizing the investment for the development of the physical infrastructure in the zones, Mauritius is also actively engaged in contributing to establish the conducive policy framework and investment climate.

In the same vein, BOI Mauritius has signed MOUs for collaboration with 29 IPAs on continental Africa. Later today, this number will grow to 31 after the signature of MOUs with Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority and the East Africa Trade Investment Hub.

I should add here that the BOI Mauritius also operates a dedicated department – the Africa Centre of Excellence – that acts as a central repository of market intelligence, maintains a current register of bankable projects and actively leverages its extensive network of IPAs, technical professionals and funding institutions for the benefit of investors.

Mauritius has, over the years, built up a strong experience in improving business facilitation. This is borne out by our performance on various indexes, including World Bank Doing Business Index, Mo Ibrahim Index, Global Competitiveness Index and Economic Freedom of the World Index, amongst others. The fact that over the past year, the Africa Centre of Excellence at the BOI has assisted 12 regional IPAs in such matters as the operation of One Stop Shop facilities bears out our commitment to share our experience and knowledge in the area of investment climate and facilitation. We will gladly extend this sharing to more IPA’s in the region.

As regards capacity building, the Government of Mauritius offers 50 yearly scholarships to African students for studies at the tertiary level, in Mauritian public educational institutions.

To enhance mobility of people Mauritius has streamlined visa requirement for citizens of almost all countries in Africa. Thus, citizens from 49 African nations can now obtain visa on arrival.

And most recently, in fact, last week, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zambia signed an MOU for facilitation of movement of business persons and professionals under the Accelerated Programme for Economic Integration.

The Government of Mauritius is also pursuing the setting up of Joint Economic Commissions with Kenya, South Africa and Ethiopia.

Our Africa strategy does not hinge solely on the G2G arrangements. It also recognizes the crucial role of an active private sector, the adoption of new technologies and innovation in taking our countries out of the low and middle-income traps.

We should not lose sight of the fact that our endeavour to achieve higher growth must be inclusive. In that context, we should give high prominence to the development of the SME sector as it creates more jobs than big corporates, and at the same time improve the standard of living and income distribution.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
With over 25 years of experience in the global business sector, Mauritius is well-positioned to make a significant contribution in attracting, mobilizing and channeling the necessary financial resources to underpin the development endeavours of Africa. In fact, last year, some 25 percent of private equity investment in Africa, for a total amount of USD 6.6 billion was structured in our International Financial Centre. This bears out the relevance of Mauritius as an international development partner for sister nations.

Let me end by stressing our conviction that Africa can and will fulfil its determination to unlock investment and seize opportunities so as to lift the standard of living of our people, alleviate poverty in a significant way and play a bigger role in the global value chain.

I should like to wish you all successful deliberations and networking over the next two days.

I urge all foreign delegates to find some time outside their busy schedule to enjoy the Mauritian experience.

I thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

Posted by on Sep 21 2016. Filed under Economie, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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