Speech Russia-Africa Partnership for Development Forum Thursday 30 May 2019


• MR. SERGEY KATYRIN President Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation • MS. POPOVA EKATERINA, Chairman of the Board of Fund for Innovation Entrepreneurship of Chamber of Commerce of Russian Federation

• MR.ANDREI PERFILYEV, President of The National Guild of Producers and Importers

• MR. VLADIMIR BAGROV, Chairman of the Board of the National Guild of Producers and Importers • My colleagues Ambassadors

• Government Officials and representatives from the Russian Federation Government

• Members of the Russian Business Community

• Ladies and Gentlemen

I wish to extend my appreciation to the Organisers for this one-day Business Forum on “RussiaAfrica Partnership for Development”.

It is a pleasure for us to connect and discuss today the issues facing Africa in its development and partners we need from Russia to ensure a sustainable development. Agriculture is one of the potential interest for African Countries including Mauritius to ensure Food Security for the future generations. I am delighted to note, it is one of the agenda for today’s discussion.

Mauritius is a small Island Developing States located in the Indian Ocean. Just 5 days after attaining independence on 17 March 1968, the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations with Mauritius. We have 51 years of diplomatic relations between Mauritius and Russia.

When we attained independence, Mauritius was a mono-crop economy, 100% reliant on the sugar cane sector. The newly independent country created the Export Processing Zone in 1970 paving the way for the development of clothing and light manufacturing sectors. Simultaneously, the Government created the tourism industry.

These two sectors have enabled to set the country on the path of economic development. The Per capita Income per habitant moved from 200 USD in 1968 to 2,500 USD in 1980 and moved steadily upward since. In 2017, per capita income stood at 10,400 USD

In the 1990s Government of Mauritius continued a diversification strategy where emphasis was laid on the Services Sector including Financial and ICT sectors. Today, our services sector accounts to 76% of the GDP compared to 20% to the Manufacturing sector and 4% to the agricultural sector.

The early years of 2000s, bought another wave of change in the IT sector with the setting up of Cyber City Hub. This hub has attracted companies in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Software Development.

Leading companies in France, United States, China and the UK have established their branch office in Mauritius.

The Prime Minister of Mauritius, Hon. Pravin Jugnauth who is also the Minister of Finance and Economic Development during the Budget for the year 2018-2019 has announced the necessity of a strong Data Center sector as well as on the emergence of new sectors such as Blockchain Technology, Artificial Intelligence, and FinTech.

Government is also keen to attract investment for High tech products manufacturing. Setting up productions unit in Mauritius and exporting from Mauritius, entitle manufacturing companies to 3% corporate tax. For companies in ICT and other sectors, corporate income tax is 15%. We also have tax holidays from 5 to 8 years, eligible on different type of business.

As you are aware, Mauritius also tops the African continent on key international benchmarks such as the Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom and the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance amongst others.

I look forward for the Russian business community to use Mauritius as a platform to expand into Africa. Mauritius is proposing joint investment with Mauritian partners to operate in Special Economic Zones in Senegal, Ghana, Madagascar and Ivory Coast.

Recently, the Government of Mauritius has renewed its collaboration with East African countries such as Mozambique and Kenya.

I take this opportunity to wish you a good conference discussion and thank you for your attention.