Despite its small size, low bequest of natural resources, Mauritius has evolved into a successful export-oriented country. In the 1970’s, farsighted policy makers put forward the idea that Mauritius presented a likely opportunity to develop an export-oriented industry. Today, while textile still remains a major component of its export sector, Mauritius has successfully diversified into different other sectors such as Fish & Fish products, Jewellery, Watches & Diamonds, Optical goods, Chemical products, among others.
Contribution to the Economy
The export sector contributes around Rs 45 billion revenue to the Mauritian economy representing around 14% of GDP and generates approximately 60 000 direct jobs. It has been resilient to the difficult global economic situation and has achieved a modest growth of 7.8% during the year 2011.
Though a number of reasons have been expounded to explain the growth of the export sector in Mauritius, the focus on international trade has been a critical element of that growing performance. Indeed, Mauritius has a strong pro-trade orientation with preferential trade access and tariff- free access to the main trading markets, like Europe and the USA, coupled with relaxed labour market regulations.