Mmegi Online :: Change mindset to attract investors - Mauritian official
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Last Updated
Friday 22 June 2018, 06:00 am.
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Change mindset to attract investors - Mauritian official

FRANCISTOWN: A development consultant from Mauritius has called for a change of mindset for Botswana in order to create an enabling environment for investors.
By Ryder Gabathuse Chakalisa Dube Wed 14 Sep 2016, 15:46 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Change mindset to attract investors - Mauritian official








Speaking at the 14th National Business Conference (NBC) on Monday, James Jessamine chronicled that by Mauritius’ independence in 1968, his country had very low levels of income, low population and just like Botswana depended on a single commodity, sugar. As a country, Jessamine said they paused and moved forward with economic strategies that could take the country out of the woods.

One of the approaches was to set up export processing zones (EPZs) and therefore companies from as far as Hong Kong, India, China, France, the United Kingdom and others took advantage of the conducive environment and set up there and in the process grew the economy. In the end, Mauritius prides itself in the fact that EPZs were able to have an annual turnarover of about $1.1 billion and created about 100,000 jobs in a country that is experiencing unemployment of about 10%. A number of local companies also grew in Mauritius because of the enabling environment as the government was concerned with aiding the growth of the economy through supportive legislation. “Tourism industry experienced a boom as today about 1.5 million people visit Mauritius annually from the lucrative European Union (EU) market,” said Jessamine.

He stated that it was not that easy for them to experience growth in their industries as it took years of hard work and unity. Most interestingly, Jessamine, who was the guest speaker at the conference spoke about the cordial working relationship between the private sector and government as the main tool that facilitated the growth.

“There was need for a change in our mindsets as our focus was to turn around the fortunes of our country with limited resources and a small market of about 1.3 million people. As an endeavour to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), we changed

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our legislation to ensure that we became attractive.”

Mauritius expedited the implementation of the Business Facilitation Act, which put everything together and simplified the ease of doing business.

He said work and resident permits today in Mauritius only have a seven-day turnaround time whilst opening a business takes only one day.

“We have a board of investment whose duty is to promote Mauritius internationally, looking for markets and facilitation of businesses. You don’t have to run to many places for you to open up a business, it all happens under one roof.”

He hailed the Mauritius government for making life simple as government has decided to massively cut on the unnecessary red tape.

“Our approach has been to look for opportunities, be creative, pragmatic and revisit what we have done and improve on it,” he said.

He acknowledged that his country experiences corruption, but compared to other countries, he said they have it at low levels.

He hailed the Mauritius press for taking robust responsibility through investigative journalism to expose issues of corruption in his country and thereby keeping people on their toes.

The NBC, a platform that affords government and the private sector to engage through Business Botswana (BB), started on Sunday and ended yesterday.

The NBC is modelled through the spirit of public-private sector dialogue to tackle relevant issues bedevilling the nation. Over the years it was through the NBC that the private sector had engaged with government to find solutions to regulatory issues that could undermine the competitiveness of local business.

The conference was moved from its traditional month of October to September to be part of the national 50th independence anniversary festivities. Previously, the NBC held robust deliberations and enabled Business Botswana to build on its past successes in building a vibrant, resilient and prosperous private sector.

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Wed 14 Sep 2016, 18:00 pm
Wed 14 Sep 2016, 15:46 pm
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Tue 13 Sep 2016, 18:00 pm
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Tue 13 Sep 2016, 15:47 pm
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