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Promoting Mauritius Freeport as a logistics, distribution and value-added platform in Reunion Island

The Economic Development Board led a trade and investment mission on 20 to 24 May 2019 in Reunion island to promote the Mauritius Freeport as a regional logistics, distribution and value-added platform. The delegation was led by Mr Vinay Guddye, Head of Logistics & Africa Desk along with Mr Yannick Matadeen, Senior Investment Executive, Logistics dept, comprising representatives of third party freeport developers (Mauritius Freeport Development Ltd, Freeport Operations (Mtius) Ltd, BPML-FSL, Mauri-China Freezone Development Ltd & Trade Park Mon Trésor) and Airports of Mauritius Ltd.

 

Plenary session held in Reunion Island from 21st to 24th May 2019 at St Denis and St Pierre

The Economic Development Board organized two business forums on 21st May 2019 at St Denis (North) and on 24th of May 2019 at St Pierre (South) respectively with a view to provide a common platform for Freeport developers to promote the attractiveness of the Mauritius Freeport sector with 40 targeted companies in both North and South of Reunion Island.

 

Key Highlights of the Mission

15 One-to-one meetings were held with targeted companies to entice them to seize the opportunities and benefits of the Mauritius freeport namely low taxation of 3%, VAT and Customs duty exemption and advantage to consolidate their markets through Mauritius to achieve economies of scale and reduce net operation costs.

The targeted companies are involved in large distribution (general merchandise), diversified group (automotive, food, industrial activities, renewable energy), logistics & transports, supplies of equipment (Roads and various networks, in building and public works, pavements, sidewalks), distribution of several brands of beverages, coffee, whisky and liquor, processing and distribution of spices, jams, peppers and syrup, collection, packaging and resale of essential oil of geranium, vetyver and other fragrant plants, rose berries and other aromatic plants, storage and distribution of dry and cold products, production, storage, packaging and distribution of fruits and vegetables, promotion and distribution of food products.

Meetings were also held with the associations namely “La Maison de L’export” and The Regional Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives with a view to establish a collaboration and encourage their members (Companies) having a regional and African strategy to use the Mauritius Freeport platform for their exports in the region.

It should also be underlined that fruitful discussions were initiated with institution and associations namely Consulate of Mauritius in Reunion Island, Club Export, “La Maison de L’Export”, SICR – Importation Syndicate and Commerce of Reunion, Chamber of Commerce Reunion, ADIR – Association for Industrial Development of Reunion to enhance the relationship for regional cooperation encouraging Reunion companies to use the Freeport platform for their exports to IOC, Southern and Eastern Africa region.

Following this mission, several expressions of interest have been registered and EDB is currently organising few inward visits by Reunion operators and associations.

 

 

Snapshot of the Freeport Sector

The export volume and value through the Freeport to Reunion island increased significantly from

12,333 tons and MUR 911 million in 2016 to respectively 28,802 tons and MUR 1.2 Billion in 2018. The top products being LPG, Pet plastic preforms, beverages, Garments and Ship Repairs amongst others. It has also been noted that only a limited number of Reunion based operators are currently exploiting the benefits and services of the Freeport sector in Mauritius and thus, the potential is though to be much significant, hence the rationale for this special mission.

 

 

Exports Trend towards Reunion Island

Exports value towards Reunion Island has been growing consistently over the past 4 years as shown in Figure 1, rising from MUR 758 million in 2015 to MUR 1.21 billion in 2018.

 

Local companies exporting to Reunion Island are also eligible to benefit from the Freight Rebate Scheme. The companies in the Mauritius Freeport have leveraged on this opportunity and have also tapped into the export potential of the Reunion market.

 

 

Merchandise Exports to Reunion Island from the Freeport

  • In 2018, top 10 exports towards Reunion Island were dominated by LPG, Perfumes & Cosmetics and Pet Plastic Preforms among others as shown in Table 1 below.

 

Merchandise Exports to Reunion Island from The Mauritius Freeport, 2017 & 2018

2017

2018

Product

Value (MUR 000)

Product

Value (MUR 000)

1.       LPG

         529,072

1.       LPG

         462,178

2.       Textiles

         273,590

2.       Perfumes & Cosmetics

198,494

3.       Pet Plastic Preforms

           75,169

3.       Pet Plastic Preforms

           114,736

4.       Beer & Beverages

           67,878

4.       Soft Drinks & Beer

           85,006

5.       Steel Products

           19,885

5.       General Goods

60,559

6.       Ship Repairs

           15,950

6.       Whisky & Perfumes

           52,005

7.       Pool Equipment

           12,319

7.       Pet Plastic Preforms

           41,202

8.       Noodles

           11,982

8.       Seafoods

           32,214

9.       Frozen Fish

             4,318

9.       Galvanized Products

             20,546

10.   Soap & Detergents

             3,851

10.   Soap & Detergents

             19,614

         

Table 1: Top 10 products exported to Reunion in 2017 & 2018 - Source: Freeport Trade Performance

 

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