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Banks to adapt their ways of doing business to the nation’s aspirations, says Finance Minister

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29Sep

Banks to adapt their ways of doing business to the nation’s aspirations, says Finance Minister

Banks will have to adapt their ways of doing business to the nation’s aspirations so as to become an Inclusive High Income country and inclusiveness must be at the centre of all our economic policies and decisions, including the mobilisation and allocation of financial resources.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement yesterday at the Intercontinental Hotel Balaclava during the launching ceremony of a subsidiary of the Bank of China (BOC) in Mauritius. The Bank of China Mauritius Ltd will add to other major international names operating in Mauritius including HSBC, Barclays, and Standard Chartered, amongst others.

Minister Pravind Jugnauth stressed the increasing role of the banks in the present economic context while expressing his expectations that banks should demonstrate greater imagination and innovativeness in financing public sector projects. On this score, he appealed to the banks to enter in a phase of consortium in lending on a bigger scale than they have done so far while adding that the Bank of China Mauritius Ltd can be a powerful partner in that new phase of development of the banking sector.

According to him, besides enhancing the credibility of our jurisdiction, this subsidiary would enhance trade ties and direct investments between Mauritius and China, and contribute in a significant way to expand the global connection of our financial system.

He further underlined that with the setting up of operations of the Bank of China in Mauritius, it will be easier for Mauritius to realise its ambition of hosting a renminbi clearing centre for the region which he said will further cement the role of Mauritius as a regional financial hub.

He recalled the long history of the banking system which has always been one of the main strengths in taking Mauritius to the status of an upper middle-income country while at the same encouraging financial institutions to operate in a new mind-set and allocate more financial resources at fair and affordable costs to micro, small and medium enterprises, and to start ups, especially in the fields of digital technologies, modern-agriculture, and renewable energy and the blue economy.

Given the macroeconomic context of falling private investment and the urgency to speed up job creation and economic growth, he called for more investment in public infrastructure which according to him is not a choice but is an imperative. According to him, massive investments in well-thought-out public infrastructure are crucial to revive economic activities, boost consumption and put the economy on a self-sustaining higher growth path.

He further dwelt on the necessity for the private sector to invest more in the key strategies of Government hence emphasising the need for a banking sector that works together with Government and private investors to raise and allocate the necessary financial resources.

The Bank of China for which the premises is located in Port Louis, is the most internationalised and diversified bank in China and also ranks fourth in The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks 2015. The Bank will be mainly engaged in corporate banking, deposit-taking, lending, international settlement, trade finance and financial institutional business, and cross-border RMB businesses in addition to its commercial activities.

The BOC aims to grow into a strategic platform for African businesses of the BOC Group as well as to providing all-round quality financial services for multinationals and customers, handling businesses between the two countries, thereby serving as a bridge between economic and investment contacts between China and Mauritius. The Bank is present in 46 countries and regions.

It will be recalled that in the context of the opening of the Bank of China in Mauritius Minister Pravind Jugnauth also met the Chairman Board of Supervisors and his delegation on 26 September in Port Louis whereby both parties expressed interest to reinforce both bilateral and economic ties between China and Mauritius. According to them, the BOC bears testimony to the importance of strengthening cooperation in the financial landscape.

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