Recent Trade Policy Review of Mauritius

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The fifth Trade Policy Review of Mauritius was held at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva on 9 and 11 November 2021, where the country’s trade policies, practices and developments were examined following its previous review which took place in 2014.

In his opening address, Hon. Mr. Alan Ganoo, Mauritius’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, highlighted the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Mauritius and the initiatives taken by the country to revive trade and the economy. Mauritius’ three core strategies, as announced in the Budget Speech 2021-2022, were reiterated, namely to recover from the crisis, revive all industries and improve social resilience.

Efforts have been made to improve trade and economic partnership by opening up markets at a bilateral and regional level, particularly the coming into force of four trade agreements and inclusion of new areas of economic partnership in the agreement with the European Union. Various measures were emphasised as being undertaken to improve and develop public and private sectors, combat money laundering, promote innovation, combat climate change and foster economic growth.

Concluding remarks by the Chairperson of the WTO note that answers and clarifications were sought from Mauritius by the Members of the WTO (Members) on several questions, such as Mauritius’ COVID-19 Recovery Programme, tax policies, practices in its "Global Business" sector, strategy on Africa and other trade practices. Mauritius was commended by the Members on its long-lasting support to the multilateral trading system and for meeting most of its WTO notification obligations. They also recognised and appreciated Mauritius’ openness to trade and the services sector and its stable and robust democratic system, amongst other factors. 

The Members observed that the strong resilience so far shown by the Mauritian economy provides a basis for optimism for a prompt post-pandemic recovery. Suggestions and concerns were made by Members for Mauritius to reflect on while formulating its coming reforms.

We are of the view that these reforms are intended not only to boost Mauritius’ existing domestic industries, but also to incentivise the development of new industries and processes. The government of Mauritius is focused on sustaining economic growth and keeping up with the trade trends evolving in the wake of the pandemic. The recent international trade agreements can be harnessed by Mauritius to upskill the domestic workforce, promote international trade opportunities in new markets and attract increased investment. Overall, Mauritius is aiming to position itself as a significant player on the global trade competitiveness scale. The optimistic response of the Members will serve as an impetus to the country to effectively implement its policies and create confidence in Mauritius as a preferred trade hub.

Further relevant information and documents are available at the links below:

https://govmu.org/
https://www.wto.org

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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