[GTR AFRICA] Mauritius Trade Finance Conference 2016

Turtle Bay, Mauritius-Ravenala Attitude

November 10th, 2016

Mauritius as a Trade Finance Centre in Africa

The second edition of the Mauritius Trade Finance Conference 2016, organised by the Global Trade Review was held on the 10th November 2016. The objective of the conference was to bring together local and international trade institutions, financiers and exporters to share expertise and explore the role Mauritius is playing as primary trade finance hub and an international financial centre. 

The opening address for the conference delivered by Harvesh Seegolam, Chief Executive of the Financial Services Promotion Agency (FSPA), on behalf of the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance and Institutional Reforms Hon. Roshi Bhadain, GCSK, enumerated the key initiatives of the Government to create the right eco-system and framework to position Mauritius as the key Financial Centre, Trading hub and Doing Business Platform for Africa.  This platform rests on two fundamental pillars namely: a credible and substantive international financial centre; and a good regional logistics platform.

The speech also focused on the new schemes that have recently been introduced through the Budget to enhance the offerings of Mauritius as an IFC to the international trading community.  Trading firms can henceforth set up their Global Head-quarters and Treasury Management Centres in Mauritius while doing business in Africa.  Harvesh Seegolam also presented the advantages that the forthcoming MINDEX exchange, which will present to the international business community, with respect to their exposures on African currencies. 

Also intervening on the first panel of the Conference- 'What does Mauritius have to offer global business', Harvesh Seegolam, highlighted how Mauritius is fundamentally different from other traditional offshore financial centres, as the Mauritius model of development is based on a substantive and transparent one. 

The Chief Executive of the FSPA, also emphasized on how Mauritius is being used as an access-centre and outbound facilitation platform for emerging markets in Africa and Asia. From this outset, the corridor concept adopted by the Government, further facilitates the movement of people, investment and capital between Asia and Africa. 

Harvesh Seegolam, stressed on the fact that Mauritius is a tested, proven and fully collaborative jurisdiction that adheres to international norms, standards and best practices. 

The panel also saw the participation of Richard Arlove, Chief Executive officer of ABAX and Santosh Gujadhur, Chief Executive Officer of GFin Corporate Services. Richard Arlove, stated that the eco-system of Mauritius allows to add-value to the African continent. He also stressed on the significance of Mauritius as a platform for investment into Africa, sustained by strength of its governance, no exchange control policy, legal system and cultural fit.

As for Santosh Gujadhur, the Mauritius IFC is moving-up the value chain; increasing its capital market activities for business; and is leveraging on its expertise to connect entrepreneurs with the right source of capital, technology and knowledge.  

On a concluding note, Richard Arlove, highlighted the positive role and initiatives of the Financial Services Promotion Agency (FSPA), which is teaming up with different industry players to develop and promote the image of Mauritius as an International Financial Centre (IFC) of excellence. 

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