afrol News, 8 February - The Mauritian economy has performed better than expected, with an increase of 4 percent in real growth at market prices in 2010, new statistics show. Growth in 2011 would be even stronger.
The positive performance in 2010 and the positive outlook for 2011 were revealed in a statement released in Port Louis by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Mauritius. The statement highlights the prompt and comprehensive policy response of the Mauritian authorities to the global crisis over the period 2008-2010.
The IMF mission, led by Martin Petri, was in Mauritius from 19 January to 2 February for consultations with Mauritian government officials, meeting with Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Pravind Jugnauth, other senior government officials and members of the National Assembly as well as representatives of the private sector and the civil society.
"Taking into account the expected upturn in the world economy and the continuing effects of the fiscal stimulus, economic growth is projected to increase to more than 4 percent in 2011," foresees the IMF in its positive outlook.
The IMF mission further observed that the challenge lying ahead of Mauritius would be to accelerate growth through increased public and private investment and productivity advances while continuing medium-term fiscal consolidation to reduce economic vulnerabilities.
According to forecasts, inflation in Mauritius was expected to be 5.5 percent in 2011. The overall fiscal balance including net lending was projected to increase mainly on account of capital investment, net lending to public enterprises and spending from special funds as compared to 2010.
The IMF statement pointed out that though Mauritius was a pioneer in the development of green taxes, more could be done as regards tax policy including a review of vehicle taxation to increase incentives to reduce emissions and congestion. An explicit carbon tax was also recommended to improve climate policy.
With a view to raising competitiveness in Mauritius, the IMF mission highlighted that economic reforms should be maintained to reduce critical structural bottlenecks in infrastructure and the parastatal sector as well as supporting export-oriented small and medium sized enterprises in launching new products and services so as to further strengthen the country's ability to compete in the world.
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