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Small Businesses Thrive with 2021 Trade Agreements



Small Businesses Thrive with 2021 Trade Agreements

The Economic Development Board (EDB) held a conference on new trade agreements to raise awareness among SMEs, including women and young entrepreneurs, about how free trade agreements can create new economic opportunities.

The conference primarily focused on the benefits of the new trade agreements that came into effect in 2021, namely the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement with India, the Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement, and the AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area).

The President of the EDB, Hemraj Ramnial, emphasized that “every businessperson running an enterprise in Mauritius needs to be aware of the potential these markets bring to Mauritius in terms of market access.”

He referenced Mauritius’ success with various trade agreements with the EU and the US, adding that India, Africa, and China “also represent huge markets that should not be overlooked, with strong potential for Mauritian exports.”

Geerish Bucktowonsing, Director of Industry at the EDB, highlighted the important role played by SMEs, stating that “they are the backbone of our economy, contributing 40% to the GDP and employing over 251,000 people.”

He also shared relevant information regarding “market intelligence” with representatives of small businesses. Geerish Bucktowonsing pointed out that Africa, China, and India are important markets for Mauritius and that it is crucial to “understand their needs in terms of trade and services.”

Participants also had the opportunity to learn about the various government assistance programs and plans offered through the Development Bank and SME Mauritius.

Source: Le Mauricien

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