Finance Minister: ICT and Innovation, the backbone of next phase of development
Information and Communication Technology and Innovation are the backbone of the next phase of development for the Mauritian economy which will be mostly driven by technology. It is an undeniable fact that these elements constitute today the key drivers of economic growth and social development for any country.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement yesterday by videoconference in Port Louis during a business forum on investment opportunities in the Mauritian ICT sector: Mauritius: the ideal platform for ICT/BPO activities organised at the initiative of the Board of Investment of Mauritius in collaboration with Syntec Numérique at the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand, in France.
The objective was to promote and enhance the visibility of Mauritius unique offerings in the ICT-BPO industry and position the country as a high return investment destination. It also aimed at showcasing the various business opportunities that Mauritius can offer through its business platform with a view to attract new investors.
In his address, the Finance Minister expressed his ambition of transforming the country into an innovative and competitive digital economy that can serve efficiently the population at large as well as the business community with the support of potential investors who through their skills, expertise and experience can help Mauritius achieve its set goals.
He recalled the strong relationship between Mauritius and France which is based on old bonds of friendship and kinship consolidated by history and common culture. According to the Minister, France has always been a privileged partner for Mauritius and over the years both countries have further strengthened bilateral relations as well as economic and cultural ties. He also expressed his gratitude regarding French assistance which has been crucial for both the economic development of Mauritius as well as in modernising the economy.
Minister Pravind Jugnauth invited the French investors to tap the various business opportunities in the ICT sector in Mauritius which is poised to become very dynamic and grow as the next pillar of development. He further pointed out that Mauritius already offers the right platform for potential investors owing to its strategic position as gateway to the African continent adding that 30% French companies are already operating in the ICT field in Mauritius.
He elaborated on the government’s strategy of transforming Mauritius into an intelligent island which revolves around five strategic and priority areas namely: Innovation; Infrastructure; Human Capital; Entrepreneurship; and Business Environment.
He concluded by stating that Mauritius has already set the appropriate modern infrastructure to help the ICT sector prosper with the Open Access Data and the improved performance of the telecommunication networks through the deployment of a third fibre optical network cable for a FibreNet Project to be implemented by the Central Electricity Board.
Statistics show that the ICT-BPO industry has grown rapidly during the past decade. The sector now comprises some 700 companies and employs over 20,000 professionals and contributes up to 6.4% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.