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Honourable Nandcoomar Bodha, Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade,
Ambassador Mrs Usha Dwarka-Canabady, Secretary for Foreign Affairs,
My Colleague, Mr Emmanuel Cohet, Ambassador of France,
Mr Marday Venkatasamy, President of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to address you today for the launching ceremony of the MCCI Technology Transfer Platform.
The MCCI Technology Transfer Platform project is in line with the objective to move Mauritius towards a high-income and innovation-driven economy. The platform will foster Research, Development and Innovation in the country. This in turn will help create new industries in the field of Biotechnology, Ocean Economy, Robotics Engineering and Artificial Intelligence. It will also assist existing industries in their efforts to strengthen their capacity and competitiveness.
This important project shows that the EU partnership is a forward-looking one, geared towards the modernisation of Mauritius' socioeconomic development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Private sector plays a key role in the economic development and prosperity of a country.
As a driver of inclusive growth and job creation, the private sector is ideally placed to improve the lives of the poor and deliver on the promise of sustainable and socially inclusive economic development.
The EU and its Member States are key players in supporting local private sector development in our partner countries.
Research, Development and Innovation can be an engine for growth as they help create jobs and bring innovative products and services to consumers and businesses. It is widely recognised that the most advanced economies are heavily reliant on innovation to drive long-term economic growth.
In this context, we need to encourage companies and entrepreneurs to invest in being innovative and creative.
This is why our support to the MCCI is important. The MCCI Technology Transfer Platform which we are launching today assists the MCCI in two areas.
- First, this new platform will encourage technology transfer agreements between Mauritian and international business organisations, through an efficient and safe platform.
It will act as the gateway for Mauritian businesses to access technology from abroad through Technology Transfer Agreements. This will allow Mauritian Businesses to leverage on existing technologies which have proven themselves.
It will also facilitate the commercialisation of Intellectual Property generated by Mauritian entrepreneurs.
- Second, the platform will contribute to improving the knowledge and expertise of Mauritian Businesses on Intellectual Property Rights and its benefits.
This will be done through the Intellectual Property Rights Help Desk which will provide advice and technical expertise to businesses in the field of Intellectual Property and Innovation.
I wish to commend the work of the MCCI and the project team because in just nine months, you have achieved a lot!
The project has given a lot of importance to capacity building. Through this project, we have trained 100 professionals from the business community and the legal profession on drafting of patent applications and licensing agreements.
The project has also helped in securing a number of strategic partnerships with European business organisations, in the fields of Biotechnology, Ocean Economy, Robotics Engineering and Artificial Intelligence.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to announce that the European Union has supported the application of the MCCI to join the Europe Enterprise Network. This membership will enable the MCCI to join a network of more than 1,000 business organisations worldwide, facilitating the access of MCCI and its members to the latest technological developments worldwide.
I am sure that these achievements will help position the MCCI as a point of reference in the Indian Ocean in the field of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer. They will also contribute to the competitiveness of Mauritius' private sector.
Our support to the MCCI is part of a comprehensive package of programmes for the development of the private sector in Mauritius.
Here allow me to mention that the EU remains Mauritius' top trading partner. The EU also provides the majority of Foreign Direct Investment and accounts for most of tourists' arrivals. We signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in 2009 which provides duty- and quota-free access for Mauritius' exports to the EU.
We are working with the Government and relevant stakeholders to allow operators in Mauritius to reap the full benefits of the agreement. For example, with the National Electronic Licencing System which provides a single point of entry for application of business permits and licences. Once fully operational, the system will certainly contribute to the ease of doing business in Mauritius.
We are also ready to support the Capacity Building project of the Industrial Property Office with an envelope of 80 million Rupees. However, this project can only start after the promulgation of the new Industrial Property Bill.
The economic and social impact of private sector development is important for a country like Mauritius. With this support to the MCCI, we reaffirm that the European Union supports the modernisation of Mauritius.
I wish to thank the MCCI and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for this strategic and innovative project.
I thank you for the attention.