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Trade reforms: Mauritius needs to do more

The trade reforms introduced by the government of Mauritius some years ago have borne fruit but they need to be pursued.
To cope with several challenges to its economic regime, Mauritius has undertaken recently bold reforms aimed at liberalising its trade regime and boosting competitiveness; the reforms have begun to bear fruit, providing a real GDP growth of 5,1% on average per year since 2003, according to a WTO Secretariat report on the trade policies and practices of Mauritius.

The strong growth in the Services sector, the most important in terms of its contribution to GDP (almost 70% in 2006), and the recovery of the textile industry have provided the backbone to this good performance.

The report adds that Mauritius trade regime would benefit from increased predictability if the gap between applied and bound rates were reduced and the existing services commitments were improved to make them better reflect the current more liberal regime applied in the sector. The report also notes that Mauritius' participation in various regional trade agreements is difficult to manage and to reconcile with its plans to transform the country into a duty-free island.

The WTO Secretariat report, along with a policy statement by the Government of Mauritius, will be the basis for the third TPR of Mauritius by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO on 23 and 25 April 2008.

Article courtesy APO-SOURCE