In the margin of Expo2020 Dubai and under the banner of the Mauritius Pavilion at Expo2020, the Economic Development Board (EDB) is organising the Mauritius Freeport and Logistics week from 21 to 25 February 2022, in collaboration with the Mauritius Port Authority (MPA), the Cargo Handling Corporation Ltd (CHCL), the Airport of Mauritius (AML), the State Trading Corporation (STC), Freeport Developers and the Freeport Operators Association.
The objective of this event is to showcase the attributes of the Mauritius Freeport as a reliable, trusted, and efficient logistics, distribution and value addition platform linking the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The participants leveraged on the recent ranking of the Mauritius Freeport in the Annual Global Free Zones of the Year 2021 by the fDi intelligence magazine, a specialist division of the Financial Times, whereby Mauritius was ranked as the second best Freezone in the world and first in Africa.
The Mauritian delegation is led by Hon. Soodesh Callichurn, Minister of Labour, Human Resource Development, Training and Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection. H.E. Amb. Showkutally Soodhun, G.C.S.K, Ambassador of the Republic of Mauritius to the United Arab Emirates and Deputy Commissioner General of the Mauritius Pavilion at Expo2020, the Chairman of the EDB, Mr. Hemraj Ramnial CSK, and the Chairman of the Mauritius Ports Authority, Mr. Sanjeev Ghurburrun also contributed to the promotional event through speeches and presentations.
During his speech, the Hon. Soodesh Callichurn, emphasized on the benefits that foreign companies could tap into while setting up in Mauritius. He also reassured the audience comprising of UAE based operators, representatives of the National Polish-Arab Chamber of Commerce, along with several dignitaries, on the conducive business environment, robust financial and legal framework in the country as well as the myriad of multilateral and bilateral agreements in place. The Minister asserted that trade agreements such as COMESA, SADC, Af-CFTA, the CECPA with India, the Mauritius China FTA, the EPA with the European Union
and the AGOA with the USA allow for preferential access to around 70% of the world market through the Mauritius Freeport.
H.E. Ambassador Showkutally Soodhun further apprised the audience of the Mauritius Freeport as the largest logistics centre in the Indian Ocean, offering world-class and cost-effective supply chain solutions.
The Chairman of the EDB, Mr. Hemraj Ramnial stated that the Mauritius Freeport and Logistics Platform is a complementary rather than a competing jurisdiction to the UAE, whereby strategic alliances and partnerships could be forged ahead to better serve the African continent and support Africa up the value chain. He also reminded the audience that this year will mark the 30th anniversary of the Mauritius Freeport since its inception in 1992.
During the panel session, the Chairman of the MPA, Mr. Sanjeev Ghurburrun, provided an insight on the Mauritius Ports’ Vision 2040 and the opportunities for new business and growth. The other panelists comprised of Mr. Rajiv Servansingh of the State Trading Corporation, Mrs Farzana Mouratsing of FOM and representing Freeport Developers, Mr. Patrice Francois from the AML, and Mr. Afzal Delbar, the Secretary General of the Freeport Operators Association.
The Freeport and Logistics week will proceed with a work session with members of the World Freezone Organisation on 23 February 2022 and subsequently will conduct on 24 and 25 February 2022 further working sessions and site visits at Dubai Industries and Exports, Commercity, Dubai Airport Freezone and Jebel Ali Freezone to network and benchmark on international best practices at the various Freezones and Industrial sites in the UAE. The Mauritian delegation will then proceed to visit the Mauritius Pavilion at Expo2020 on the evening of 25 February 2022 to close the promotional week.