1. Cabinet has taken note of developments regarding the sale of State Lands on which stand the ex-CHA houses to their owners. Cabinet has further taken note that the Ministry of Housing & Lands is currently carrying out a survey to prepare a detailed description of each of the housing estates on which the Ex-CHA houses stand. The sale of land would be implemented in phases.
2. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the investment promotion mission led by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance & Economic Development to South Africa from 2 to 12 August 2006.
The main objectives of the mission were to create awareness of the business opportunities available in Mauritius, attract investment from South Africa in the light of new measures announced in the Budget 2006-2007 and inform the business community in South Africa of the salient features of the new economic landscape of Mauritius. Following meetings he had, various business entities have indicated their interest to invest in Mauritius, viz. -
(i) many financial institutions have confirmed and outlined investment plans in sectors, such as health care insurance, reinsurance business and back office operations.
(ii) Blake Call Centre has expressed its firm intention to set up a call centre operation creating some 500 jobs.
(iii) Video Vision Entertainment, Africa’s leading producer, is interested in setting up a film city and in developing real estate.
(iv) Various companies, such as Sun International and Protea Group of Hotels, have expressed strong interests for investment in the tourism and entertainment industries, including, hotel resorts, casinos, themes parks, etc.
(v) Mediclinic is considering investment in the field of medical tourism.
(vi) De Beers would send a team to explore investment opportunities in setting up a diamond exchange and using the financial centre for their offshore activities.
(vii) With regards to seafood industry, Irvin and Johnson (I&J) has confirmed its intention to visit Mauritius by the end of September 2006 to explore investment possibilities in the abalone culture.
3 Cabinet has taken note of the programme of activities organized to commemorate the International Day for the Remembrance of Slave Trade and its Abolition on 23 August 2006. The programme comprises, inter alia –
(i) the presentation of the Second Edition of the picture book
“Zistoir Ze ek Mélia: lepok esclavaz Moris 1834”;
(ii) a public conference on the theme, “New perspectives on the Mascarene Slave Trade during the 18th and 19th Centuries”, by Dr Richard Allen of Framingham State College, USA; and
(iii) a one day seminar on the theme: "Ensam nu guet l'avenir", which aims at empowering artists to set up their own enterprise.
4. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Ministerial Session of the Regional Conference on Better Air Quality in Sub-Saharan African Cities held on 28 July 2006 at United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya.
The aims of the Conference were to discuss air quality management and to serve as a platform that would enable participants from Government, civil society, industry and international organizations to work out together an agenda for action to achieve better air quality in the region.
The recommendations of the Ministerial Session are, inter alia,
(i) there is a need to promote cleaner fuels and to harmonise fuel specifications at sub-regional level. The sulphur content in diesel must be reduced to the extent practicable now, and in the medium term it must be reduced to 200 ppm.
(ii) It is important to manage the quality of vehicles being imported to control vehicle emissions. It is also important to have in place mechanisms for testing, inspection and maintenance of existing vehicle fleets to achieve better air quality.
5. With a view to conserving more effectively the native forest biodiversity in protected areas of Mauritius, Cabinet has taken note of the implementation of the project – "Strengthening Management Effectiveness of the Protected Area Network" which aims at -
(i) expanding the protected area network in Mauritius so as to better protect a representative sample of its terrestrial biodiversity;
(ii) effectively managing the protected area network, specifically to contain the spread of invasive alien plant species in the moderately intact high priority forests; and
(iii) linking protected area development priorities toward optimizing the true value of protected areas in the socio-economic development of the country.
The project is in line with the overall goal of COP-7 to establish a comprehensive, ecologically representative and effectively managed national and regional system of protected terrestrial areas by 2010.
6. Cabinet has taken note that Honourable Shri Sharad Pawar, Minister of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution of the Republic of India, proposes to visit Mauritius from 27 to 30 October 2006.