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Mauritius should look outwards for experts

Posted by Avinash Meetoo

What’s common with Marine Le Pen, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Nigel Farage? They all look inwards. (Ils sont repliés sur eux-mêmes.)

Mauritius has always been an outward looking country because our market is tiny and our companies need to buy and sell from abroad if they want to be profitable. We tend to import quite a lot of things. We get most of our raw products and a lot of our finished products from abroad. This allows the population to benefit from excellent products at competitive prices.

Unfortunately, there is one thing we don’t get from abroad: experts. We behave like Le Pen, Putin, Trump and Farage when it comes to experts.

The population is tiny and it is inconceivable that there are a lot of Mauritian experts. As a matter of fact, a lot of Mauritian experts have left the country and only a few remain. This small number is not enough for solving all the problems we currently have.

The obvious solution would be to look outwards for foreign experts to supplement local experts, offer these foreigners interesting packages for encouraging them to come, making them transfer some of their knowledge to (young) Mauritians and, very crucially, making sure that they deliver by carefully measuring their performance. The obvious objective being, of course, to make things move forward and solving problems. This is what Singapore did decades ago with very tangible results.

What we do instead is, for our Mauritian non-experts, to pretend that they are experts and, in the process, spoiling everything. There is an important political decision to be made in the coming years, if not months.

What do you think?

(Image courtesy of The Economist)

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