WASHINGTON - March, 27 2013 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved two US$35 million Development Policy Loans (DPL) for the Republic of Mauritius to support to improve the country’s competitiveness and resilience for vulnerable groups.
· The Second Private Sector Competitiveness Development Policy Loan of US$15 million will help the Government’s competitiveness agenda by strengthening the policy and institutional environment in Mauritius for greater private sector competitiveness.
· The Second Public Sector Performance Development Policy Loan of US$20 million will support the Government’s effort to improve public sector performance by implementing three reform pillars which include: strengthening services to empower the poor; streamlining trade regulations and processes; and improving civil servant human resource management and performance monitoring systems of state-owned enterprises.
“A facilitative business environment and greater access to finance, coupled with improvements in the ICT sector, will increase enterprise competitiveness and facilitate access to export markets,” explained Haleh Bridi, Country Director for the World Bank in Mauritius.
These operations will support reforms in improving enterprise growth and competitiveness; access to finance; and promoting ICT usage and e-Government reforms for increased efficiency and transparency gains.
To help the most vulnerable find higher-skilled, better paying jobs in the labor market, the reforms will also widen access to education. In order to have better paying jobs, the final pillar will create more jobs by streamlining non-tariff barriers (NTBs) as NTBs disproportionally affect Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which are major creators of employment in Mauritius.
Since independence in 1968, economic growth in Mauritius has been built on a long track record of economic and institutional reforms. Mauritius has transformed from a predominantly agricultural economy based on sugar production to a diversified economy structured around textile exports and tourism and, lately, around financial services. In the mid-2000s, a bold reform program supported by the Bank addressed the erosion of Mauritius’ preferential trade status and rising commodity prices by strengthening fiscal consolidation, enhancing trade competitiveness, and improving the investment climate.