CABINET DECISIONS – 3 JULY 2009
1. Cabinet has taken note that the European Commission has agreed to extend the temporary derogation from the rules of origin with regard to preserved tuna and tuna loins to Mauritian exporters on the European market and agreed to the allocation of quota to the local exporters as recommended by the Monitoring Committee set up under the Chairmanship of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade and comprising stakeholders.
2. Cabinet has taken note that Google, recognised as one of the world’s best search engine, would implement its second African Cache Servers in Mauritius, which would be located at the Mauritius Internet Exchange Point at Ebène. The hosting of Google Cache Servers would promote Mauritius not only as a destination for IT-Enabled Services, but also for hosting Internet content for the African region, given our excellent ICT infrastructure and connectivity creating spill-overs for other sectors as far as Internet content development is concerned.
3. Cabinet has taken note of developments of the Pan African e-Network Project, an initiative of Dr A.P.J. Kalam, former President of India, to connect the 53 nations of the African Union by satellite and fibre optic network to provide effective tele-education, tele-medicine, Internet, video conferencing and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, as well as support to e-Governance, e-Commerce, infotainment, resource mapping and meteorological services. In this connection, Mauritius has been selected to host the Super Speciality Regional Hospital, in addition to the existing tele-medicine centre already set up at the Cardiac Centre. The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam National Hospital will, subsequently, be equipped with the state-of-the-art technology and facilities to provide expert services to the other hospitals connected in the region.
4. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with the WHO Framework Convention Tobacco Control, Mauritius is among the first countries to adopt and implement measures to ensure, amongst other things, that each unit packet and package of tobacco products, as well as any outside packaging and labelling of such products, carry health warnings describing the harmful effects of tobacco use. Cabinet has also taken note that the Government of Jamaica has sought the authorization of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life to use some of the tobacco graphic health warnings developed for Mauritius, for display on packages and packets of tobacco products to be put on sale in Jamaica and the Caribbean Community.
5. Cabinet has taken note that the Mauritius Post Limited, along with 13 other postal operators forming part of the Southern African Postal Operators Association, would participate in the joint issue of a commemorative stamp in the context of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup to be held in South Africa.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the Mauritius Research Council would sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Republic of India, providing for a framework within which detailed proposals for programmes of cooperation in the fields of research and development, as well as science and technology, would be considered mutually on the basis of reciprocity.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the meeting, which the Minister of Industry, Science and Research had with the Honorary Consuls based in Mauritius with a view to enlisting their support to attract foreign investors in Mauritius and to promote Mauritian products overseas through their networks. It was, inter alia, agreed that -
(a) there was a need for focused actions at the level of selected countries; and
(b) a virtual market place should be established to connect potential investors and buyers with their counterparts.
8. With a view to responding to the challenges facing postal services and providing a better service, Cabinet has taken note that the Mauritius Post Limited would review the postal tariffs as from 8 July 2009, as follows -
(a) Inland Letter -
(i) first 20 grammes – Rs 7;
(ii) each additional 20 grammes or fraction thereof – Re 1;
(b) other mails, inland and foreign, an average increase of 40% for the first weight-step; and
(c) letter mails between Mauritius and Rodrigues would, henceforth, be considered as local mail and not as airmail.
9. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Health and Quality of Life would promulgate the following regulations to include the appropriate institutions on the list of recognized medical institutions -
(a) the Medical Council (Medical Institutions) (Amendment) Regulations to include the Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Srinagar (Garhwal), Uttaranchal, India; and
(b) the Dental Council (Medical Institutions) (Amendment) Regulations to include the Badji Mokhtar University, Algeria.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Empowerment from 10 to 17 June 2009 to South Africa where he -
(a) participated in the 19th World Economic Forum on Africa under the theme “Implications of the Global Economic Crisis for Africa” held in Cape Town;
(b) participated in an investment promotion exercise organized by the Board of Investment and targeting potential investors in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg in the following sectors of activity -
(i) Services (ICT/BPO, Data Centre, Financial Services, Freeport and Logistics, Healthcare and Knowledge);
(ii) Hospitality and Property Development;
(iii) Light Engineering and Value-added Manufacturing; and
(c) had discussions on bilateral issues with Mr Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finance and Mr Trevor Manuel, Minister to the Presidency of South Africa.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment to Geneva where he participated in the 98th Session of the International Labour Conference. The main items discussed at the Conference were, inter alia, –
(a) the Global Report under the follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work;
(b) Elaboration of an autonomous recommendation on HIV/AIDS in the world of work;
(c) gender equality at the heart of decent work; and
(d) Global Jobs Crisis.
In the margins of the Meeting, the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment paid a courtesy call on Mr Juan Somavia, Director General of the ILO and had meetings, inter alia, with Mr Charles Dan, ILO Regional Director for Africa, as well as other Heads of ILO Departments, with whom he discussed, inter alia, the implementation of the new Labour Laws, the Workfare Programme and the proposed Decent Work Country Programme for Mauritius.
The Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment also attended the meeting of the Governing Council of the African Regional Labour Administration Centre and visited the Cité des Métiers of Geneva.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of -
(a) the Probation Hostel for Boys Managing Committee with Mr Devanand Jooty as Chairperson; and
(b) the Board of the Beach Authority with Mr Dinanath Sungkoora as Chairperson.