1. Cabinet has taken note that a one-day workshop on Mauritius, Your Business Passport to Africa would be held on 14 June 2012 at the Royal Overseas League in London. High-profile speakers, including Mr Omari Issa, Chief Executive Officer, Investment Climate Facility for Africa, Mr Adrian Winstanley, Director General, London Court of International Arbitration and Dr Mohan Kaul, Chairperson of the Commonwealth Africa Focused Fund, will facilitate the workshop. The event will target high level executives of British companies who are considering to launch or expand their businesses in Africa, as well as Chief Executive Officers of accountancy firms, financial services institutions, consultants and other professional advisors on Africa business. The workshop will provide a strong signal to UK investors on the growing advantage that Mauritius holds as the natural gateway for cross border investment into Africa. It is also proposed to hold similar investor workshops in Paris and Brussels later this year.
2. Cabinet has taken note that a High Powered Committee, under the Chairmanship of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, has been set up to look into the restructuring of the Cargo Handling Corporation Ltd as a shipping centre and to review and redefine the Human Resource Strategy and the manpower planning agreements pending the submission of the Report on the Corporation by KPMG. The Committee would comprise the Minister of Education and Human Resources and the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment.
Cabinet has also taken note of development in the implementation of the Strategic Partnership project for the Cargo Handling Corporation Ltd.
3. In line with Government’s effort to counter piracy in the region, Cabinet has agreed to negotiations being held with the Transitional Federal Government of the Republic of Somalia, the Republic of Somaliland and the Puntland State of Somalia with a view to finalizing an agreement on the transfer of sentenced pirates from Mauritius to Somalia. Following the signing of the Agreement with the European Union for the transfer of suspected pirates to Mauritius, arrangements are underway to accept one or two batches of suspected pirates as from the beginning of June 2012 for prosecution and trial.
4. Cabinet has taken note that the value of exports of fish and fish products has increased by 35.1% during the period January to March 2012. It is expected that, there would be a significant increase in the export of fish and fish products following the signing of the Fisheries Agreement with the European Union.
5. Cabinet has taken note of the performance of the Export Oriented Enterprise Sector for the period January to April 2012. Total exports increased by 3.7%. The value of the exports has also increased from Rs14.04 billion to Rs14.56 billion over the same period.
6. Cabinet has taken note that, according to the last statistical bulletin, the number of tourists who visited Mauritius in April 2012 was 79,137. Growth had been registered in the following tourist markets: Sweden (+32.5%), Switzerland (+35.0%), India (+9.0%), CIS (+78.7%), China (+47.3%), Reunion Island (+32.2%), Kenya (+104.1%) and Malagasy Republic (+46.8%).
7. Taking into consideration management and internal problems at the Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association, Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association (Temporary Provisions) Bill which aims at setting up an interim Management Committee which would, in lieu of the National Executive Committee, temporarily assume the function of administrating the Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association and be vested with all the necessary powers.
8. Cabinet has taken note of activities that would be organized by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, to mark the World No Tobacco Day observed on 31 May, viz., -
(a) a workshop to disseminate the findings of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project;
(b) launching the Mauritius National Report Wave 3; and
(c) sensitization campaigns on the ill-effects of tobacco and healthy lifestyle.
The theme chosen to mark World No Tobacco Day this year is Tobacco Industry Interference.
9. Cabinet has taken note of activities that would be organized by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security in the context of the International Day for Biological Diversity commemorated on 22 May, viz.,-
(a) inauguration of a Nature Walk at Ile d’Ambre and Plaine Sophie and of the Petrin Conservation Management Area;
(b) a national essay competition on Biodiversity for secondary school students;
(c) sensitization campaigns on conservation measures and biodiversity;
(d) open day at the nursery at Bras d’Eau, Abercrombie, Powder Mill Street, Souillac, Curepipe, Rivulet Terre Rouge Estuary Bird Sanctuary and Blue Bay Marine Park; and
(e) free distribution of endemic plants to the public and students.
The theme chosen by the United Nations this year is Marine Biodiversity.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the recent mission of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he participated in the World Economic Forum on Africa. The theme of the World Economic Forum on Africa was Strengthening Africa’s Leadership. The Forum focused on rethinking of South-South relations, accelerating and scaling innovation for shared opportunities and how African States can boost regional trade.
In the margins of the World Economic Forum on Africa, the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development had bilateral meetings on issues of mutual interest with, amongst others, the Executive Chairperson of the World Economic Forum, the President of the African Development Bank and personalities from Gabon and Egypt.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the recent mission of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development to the US where he participated in the 2012 Spring Meeting of the IMF and World Bank Group in Washington D.C. The 2012 Spring Meeting of the IMF and the World Bank reviewed the Global Economic Outlook and Risks and concluded that the global economy remains vulnerable to risks from the euro area and higher oil prices. The Vice-Prime Minister had meetings with the IMF, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation on issues pertaining to fiscal and monetary reforms and socio-economic development.
Cabinet has further taken note that the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development led an Investment Promotion Mission in Philadelphia and New York, which was organized by the Board of Investment. The objectives of the investment mission were to reassure US-based private equity funds, global investors, financial advisors, bankers, asset managers and law firms that Mauritius is a sound, trusted and internationally recognized financial platform and promote the use of the recently adopted Limited Partnership legislation and structure.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of -
(a) the Commission for Conciliation and Mediation with Prof Ved Prakash Torul as President;
(b) the National Remuneration Board with Mr Woopendre Punchcoory Gungah as Chairperson;
(c) the Executive Committee of the Senior Citizens Council with Mr Nunkeswar Ruhee as Chairperson; and
(d) the National Youth Council with Mr Jawahar Lall Athal as Chairperson.