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Clothing exports will bounce back in 2010 - Minister
Feb '10
Mauritius Government launched a $100 million strategy to strengthen the manufacturing sector, with the expectation that the Mauritius's export oriented enterprises which dwindled in 2009 will bounce back this year.

Industry Minister Dharambeer Gokhool said that, due to economic meltdown, export producing industry narrowed by 0.8 percent in 2009 from 3.6 percent and 8.0 percent growth in 2008 and 2007 respectively.

He also informed the press that, with recovery in the process of global meltdown, it is anticipated that the sector's performance will perk up in 2010.

Mauritius' export businesses are lead by textile groups, adding up to 65 percent of sector's total sales, mainly to key retailers of European high street, including Zara in Spain and Britain's Next and Marks & Spencer.

The global economic dropdown has badly affected Mauritius' clothing factories, compelling them to cut prices to hold on to the market share and also improve demand. A $340 million stimulus package, declared by government in December 2008, primarily focused on aiding grappling textile suppliers.

Gokhool proclaimed that, the government has allocated 3.1 billion rupees for developing a globally competitive industrial sector by 2013, focusing on hi-tech investments and exploration of new markets.

Mauritius no longer has any comparative advantage with regards to availability of economical labour and trade preferences, also the tariff protection policy for local industries has nearly been called off, he added.

With a view to bolster its image of being one of Africa's most stable and prosperous economies, Mauritius which at a time was founded on sugar and textiles, has branched out to tourism, offshore banking and business outsourcing.

In spite of this, manufacturing yet adds almost 19 percent to gross domestic product, 80 percent of entire exports and provides employment to 26 percent of island's labour force, Gokhool remarked.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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