The Economic Development Board is pleased to present a special edition of its Newsletter on 2019/20 Budget presented by the Hon. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development under the theme “Embracing a brighter future together as a nation”.
Budget 2019/20 subscribes in a spirit of continuation from the previous strategies adopted by Government, while ensuring that challenges being faced by several industries are being adequately addressed. It sets out measures to strengthen existing economic sectors such as sugar cane, manufacturing (in particular textiles industry), tourism, ocean economy and financial sectors and to boost emerging sectors like Artificial Intelligence and fintech which will enable us to graduate to a high-income economy. The government is also mindful to promote an ‘inclusive’ growth by ensuring that every segment of the population benefits from future economic growth.
It is indeed a pro-growth budget focusing on improving productivity and competitiveness, supporting institutional development and boosting infrastructure investment as the main engine of growth.
This budget also pays particular attention to ensure sound fiscal policy and that macroeconomic fundamentals remain strong. Budget deficit will be kept at 3.2 % of GDP and public debt will be levelled at 60% even before 2021 by using accumulated surplus funds held at the Bank of Mauritius. These remain key parameters for investor sentiments in their decisions to do business in the country.
EDB’s role is enhanced through this budget. We are poised to support the manufacturing sector by leveraging on international expertise, support automation and productivity gains, seeking strategic and joint venture partners. During the year, EDB has been very active on all economic fronts to give further impetus in attracting investment and increasing our exports. EDB has been at the forefront during the year under review in segments ranging from established industries to new sectors such as Fintech, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Budget 2019/20 recognises the potential of these sectors and provides necessary measures to support them. Our budget highlights in the special edition will dwell specifically on each of these sectors, provide the measures announced and gauge their impact.
In addition, the Ease of Doing Business and our quest to continue to improve our rankings feature prominently in the budget speech. The annex to the budget lists down numerous measures together with a Business Facilitation Bill that amends 26 legislations and 25 regulations to further improve our business environment. Likewise, the recruitment of foreign talents and support to enterprises to recruit expeditiously is also addressed. A Significant Employers Scheme, operated by the EDB, to obtain foreign talents quicker will be introduced. Skills mismatch is also addressed with the setting up of a platform with Business Mauritius. A more proactive approach for matching talents with employers will further reduce our unemployment rate. A strong signal in this budget also relates to the removal of the minimum investment of USD 40,000 for foreign Start Ups registered with Incubators. Mauritius is now open to attract new breeds of entrepreneurs who can transform innovative ideas into commercial ventures.
Overall, this budget balances adequately the imperatives of growth while ensuring social inclusion, gender mainstreaming and protection of the less privileged in society.
The EDB reiterates its commitment to engage with stakeholders towards the realization of these measures that are fully aligned with the vision of the Prime Minister for a brighter future together as a nation.
This edition of the newsletter also features a summary of all the announcements made in the Budget. The Economic Development Board wishes you a pleasant read.
Chief Executive Officer
10 June 2019