Dr the Honourable Renganaden Padayachy, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning
Honourable Louis Steven Obeegadoo, Minister of Housing and Land Use Planning
Mr Charles Cartier, Chairman of the Economic Development Board,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure for me to be here today for the launching of the Morcellement Permit on the National Electronic Licencing System that the European Union is supporting under the Economic Partnership Agreement support Programme.
Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the Government of Mauritius for the impressive progress made during the past few years on improving the business climate, which has enabled Mauritius to be positioned 13th globally in the Ease of Doing Business of the World Bank.
Legislative amendments adopted under the Business Facilitation Act last year and a series of administrative reforms undertaken by Ministries and Public Sector Agencies were subject to a business process re-engineering exercise supported by the EU and which helped to contribute to this positive outcome.
This clearly reflects the Government’s strong commitment to narrow the gap with top performing economies by improving the investment climate and simplifying the process of starting up and conducting a business.
I would like to underline that the ultimate objective of improving the business environment is the creation of a vibrant and competitive business sector, which would lead to a stronger and more resilient economy.
The European Union attaches great importance to its partnership with the Republic of Mauritius. The opportunities offered under the Economic Partnership Agreement provide testimony to the continued and strong commitment of the European Union to support Mauritius in achieving the goals set under the Government Programme for an inclusive, high income and green Mauritius.
But the whole process needs to be part of a broader and coherent set of market-oriented policies and regulatory framework.
From my interactions with the business community (and with the civil society in general), people increasingly expect the delivery of government programmes and services to be simple, seamless and connected.
This underscores the importance of having a business climate that is transparent and inclusive. At the same time, there is growing interest from all stakeholders on the interlinkages between investment and sustainable development.
At the EU level, the European Green Deal is our new growth strategy. Development must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The European Green Deal puts sustainability – in all of its senses – and the well-being of citizens at the core of our action. This requires bringing together four dimensions: environment, productivity, stability and fairness.
This is why we support the initiative of the Government of Mauritius for the formulation of a National Land Development Strategy, included under the Government Programme and applying a sustainable development approach to land use.
Launching of the Morcellement Permit of the National Electronic Licencing Programme (i.e. NELS)
The Morcellement Permit that we are launching today on the NELS is testimony of its critical role in contributing to the economic development landscape of Mauritius at various levels.
Firstly, the contribution of the construction sector to the Gross Domestic Product has been increasing since 2017 and the growth rate in 2019 is estimated at 8.6%. Private sector investment plays a significant part in the growth rate.
Secondly, thanks to the electronic platform (NELS), business operators will be able to apply for the Morcellement permit online. This is going to further reduce the time and cost of doing business to the private sector. It will also improve transparency and decrease possibilities for red-tape and corruption.
Thirdly, Mauritius being a Small Island State is known to be vulnerable to environmental degradation and climate change. Sustainable construction is becoming increasingly important and inevitable in this era of sustained development.
This calls for regulatory reforms that need to be undertaken across various economic sectors.
Given the challenges to implement reforms, the EPA programme to improve the business and investment climate includes a strong component of capacity building that will help strengthen public regulatory agencies’ capacity to enhance the decision-making processes.
Meanwhile, I am happy to see that the NELS project continues delivering, so the Morcellement Permit will join other business permits that are already live such as the Building and Land Use Permit which so far has already registered 15,000 applications on-line in less than one year!
In addition to the NELS, I am pleased to inform Minister Padayachy and Minister Obeegadoo as well as all the stakeholders present this afternoon that upon the request of the Government, the EU will support a regulatory review exercise for 80 million Rupees that will focus on four key economic sectors, namely: Construction, Trade and Logistics, Tourism and Healthcare.
This regulatory review exercise will entail a fundamental rethink of the policies in place. It will help triggering interlinkages between business development and sustainable economic development as I think there is a clear understanding that, in todays globalized and digitalized world, it is becoming impossible to advance one without advancing the other.
As Mauritius has the right aspiration to be among the best performers and the model for the region and beyond, it is therefore important to assess the economic effects of specific changes in legislation or public policy.
For this reason, the EU funded EPA project also includes establishing a systemic Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIA), thanks to the expertise and know-how of the OECD. The RIA framework will enable policy makers to critically assess the positive and negative effects of proposed and existing regulations in order to better manage and balance competing social and economic interests. It will also play a crucial role in improving rule-making quality and promoting good governance. It is therefore crucial that Ministries and public sector agencies work together constructively in the search for innovative solutions to those complex issues.
Mesdames et Messieurs,
Faciliter l'investissement et le climat des affaires est l'un des moyens les plus efficaces de lutter contre la pauvreté et de favoriser le développement durable et inclusif.
La plateforme électronique NELS, qui a été mise en place pour la soumission de différents types de permis et licences apportera plus de transparence aux investisseurs.
Le secteur privé a pris une place de choix au cœur de la solution du développement tant à Maurice qu'en Afrique. Et l'Union Européenne est en phase avec cette évolution.
J’aimerai terminer mes propos en vous remerciant pour votre participation et réitérer notre disponibilité à vous accompagner pour améliorer d'avantage l'environnement des affaires à Maurice.
Merci de votre attention.