MAURITIUS AGAIN MAKING ECONOMIC WAVES
THE ECONOMY of Mauritius – the pride of Africa (along with Botswana) in the Eighties and Nineties – is steadily accelerating back into the fast lane. Over the period 1982 to 1992 the enchanting Indian Ocean island was among the world’s top 20, measured by average annual rises in real gross domestic product. The Mauritian figure was 5,9%. Over that time only Botswana (9,8%) and Swaziland (6,6%) fared better among African nations.
Then between 1992 and 2002 Mauritius again made that star list, as did Botswana, with both recording yearly GDP increase averages of comfortably more than 5%.
But at that point things became relatively tough for Mauritius. Between 2003 and 2005 growth steadily slid from 4,5% to 2,5%. Standard Bank explains: “Mauritius faced new challenges and its economic performance suffered as a result of the loss of preferential access to the European Union sugar and textile markets.”
However, Mauritius then again showed the economic resilience that has brought it so much success. Standard notes: “The country’s government embarked on an ambitious development strategy that emphasised the information and communications technology sectors, and the promotion of Mauritius as a seafood hub – an industry that should compensate for job losses in textiles.”
GDP growth for 2006 is estimated at 4,7% – 5,1% if sugar is excluded. For 2007, a rise of 5% to 5,5% minimum is predicted.