Blog: The MMM Manifesto
Europe is the main trade partner of Mauritius. Most of our tourists come from the Eurozone countries. The Eurozone is going through an unprecedented crisis.
Sir Anerood Jugnauth (SAJ) blurted out in public some time back that if the Euro is facing difficulties there are alternatives for our economy. What are these alternatives? He did not specify. Was he thinking of a diversification of our markets? What are these markets? India? A look at the trade balance between Mauritius and India will show how our imports from the subcontinent far outweigh our exports. Now there is a tug of war and hardly veiled accusations against our offshore sector so much so that even the prestigious weekly The Economist has joined the fray to tilt a lance at our offshore sector. Singapore is going her own way with India there bypassing Mauritius.
Should we turn towards Africa and China as emerging markets? China herself is facing difficulties. Given the pay rise being asked by workers in key export manufacturing goods China is seriously considering to relocate in countries where the cost of labour is cheap like Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam. When politicians and trade unionist clamour for more pay rise in Mauritius they do not seem to realise what the international situation in matters of competition is. Many still believe that the world owes us a living. How can we compete on the world market with ever increasing salaries? If China where the pay is lower than in Mauritius cannot can we? Will the MMM and SAJ explain that to the people?
What about Africa, a continent that Mauritius has not tapped for years. SAJ should tell us what he did to open up to Africa for investment or trade purposes during the long years he was prime minister. In spite of her vast resources unfortunately Africa generally has not reached a stage where she can be considered as very business friendly. Efforts are being made by the government to open up to that continent but there is a long way to go. Zimbabwe has shown us how indigenization has taken precedence thus instilling fear in potential investors. Not all African countries can be equated to Zimbabwe but the lack of good governance, the bureaucratic red tape in the processing of work permits and other vital documents, high corruption including the judiciary may put investors off.
In the light of the above analysis what is the alternative the MMM is giving us? Will SAJ and the MMM revive the Euro or inject new life in the USA economy or turn Africa overnight in a clean business friendly continent or ask India to be more benevolent towards us? Arete rever camarade! We are living in world where each country is trying hard to fend off disaster. The capitalist system, globalization, the free market have produced results for many years and may need a serious revamping in the light of the recent financial disasters we have witnessed with banks going bankrupt and the whole financial system getting out of control. The 1983 situation is not the 2012 situation.
In Mauritius during the difficult years from 2005 onwards we managed to show resilience thanks to the policies of the government for which full credit should be given to Rama Sithanen. His policies that have saved us were constantly being criticized by Paul Berenger and PravinJugnauth. The latter even managed to convince NavinRamgoolam to get rid of Rama Sithanen so that he could replace him. This did become a reality with the disastrous result of the one year passage of PravinJugnauth at the Ministry of Finance.
During his tenure as minister of finance PravinJugnauth came with almost nothing original on the economy. Even Paul Berenger gave him a certificate of incompetence in Parliament. This what he said on PravinJugnauth: "Pravind Jugnauth enn nullité kouma minis des finances. Vraimem li zéro, mo honté pou li. Rama Sithanen ti enn féser, mais li ti enn malin, li ti enn economiste ek li ti konn so dossier. Sann ti boug-la, nanier li pa kapav réponn dan parlement”. Now Paul Berenger and PravinJugnauth are driven more by their own ambition and agenda with the complicity of SAJ. The country comes after their personal ambition.
What will be the MMM manifesto in 2015? Medpoint and RochesNoires and nothing else! In 2015 if the people judge in a rational way they will see where the truth lies and they will have to choose between a Medpoint/RochesNoires manifesto of the MMM and a manifesto that means business coming from the present government.
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