Global Business

Mr. Roderick Rickman, The Ambassador of Mauritius His Excellency Somduth Soborun and Forum participants

Michigan with Mauritius Export/Import Forum opens doors to International Trade for local businesses.

By: Angeline Lawrence

The Ambassador of Mauritius, His Excellency, Somduth Soborun, presented exciting opportunities for local businesses to trade with his country at the Export/Import Forum heldFebruary 24, 2012.  The event was hosted by prominent business man, Mr. Roderick Rickman,CEO of Rickman Enterprise Group, LLC at hisDetroitheadquarters and coordinated by Mr. Lee Green,CEO of African Business Chamber Mr. and Edward Etim, Director of African Trade Development.

Dozens of local businesses attended the event to learn about export opportunities in the areas of Agriculture Technology, Information Technology, Industrial Fishing Capability, Green Technology and Off-Shore Financial Services. Attendants included Ken Harris, of the newly established Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, Tony Stovall, President of the Detroit Black Chamber and Charles Beckham, Chairman of the Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce.

The country, which is completely surrounded by water, is located 500 miles east of Madagascar. Approximately 1.3 million people call Mauritiushome that are of African, Indian, European and Chinese descent.   Although the U.S. is the second largest export market for Mauritius, direct investment from the U.S. accounted for over 20% of the total FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) recorded for the country in 2010. The country was settled by the Dutch in 1598 but colonized and heavily influenced byFrance and Brittan from 1715-1810. English is the official language, but the population is bilingual and also speaks French.

Sugar, textiles and tourism were the major economic generators in the global economy for the country.  However,Mauritiushas diversified its economy and is seeking trade partners in the areas of renewable energy, commercial fishing, financial services and information technology.

His Excellency Somduth Soborun, stated, “Mauritius is the safest and best place in Africa to invest.”  According to the Global Finance website, the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in U.S. dollars was $10.29 billion in 2010. In 2011, Forbes Magazine ranked Mauritius 1st in Africa and 19th out of 134 countries as one of the best countries for business. Likewise, the World Bank ranked Mauritius 1st in Africa and 23rd out of 183 countries for ease of doing business in 2012.

Those interested in taking advantage of the business opportunities in Mauritius can contact the Board of Investment (BOI, which is the national promotion agency of the country.  The website and email address are as follows: http://www.boimauritius.com and contact@investmauritius.com.  You may also contact the agency by telephone at (203) 203-3800 or by fax at (203) 208-2924.  The agency is the acting strategic partner for investors that desire to participate in the booming business environment in Mauritius.

Article also published in Detroit Black Pages March/April 2012 issue

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