A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed, this afternoon, in Port Louis, between the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Division of the Ministry of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives (MIDSC) and the Mauritius Post Ltd (MPL) so as to provide an e-Commerce Platform for SMEs and Cooperatives registered with the SME Registration Unit.
The signature ceremony was held in the presence of the Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, and the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Darsanand Balgobin.
Through this MoU, the MPL will be able to offer efficient business solutions comprising e-commerce solutions and marketing facilities including delivery services to registered SMEs and cooperatives. The MIDSC will be responsible for engaging with SMEs/Cooperatives to adopt and use the solutions offered by the MPL.
The objective is to give more visibility to the e-commerce solutions offered by the MPL and to the SMEs/Cooperatives using the solutions. The incentives and assistance provided by the MIDSC and the preferential tariffs provided to registered SMEs/Cooperatives would attract more SMEs/Cooperatives to register with the MIDSC while boosting their businesses.
In his keynote address, Minister Bholah recalled that the vision of MIDSC is to foster a transformative and pioneering SME Sector crafted on innovation, opportunities and inclusiveness whilst its mission is to provide technical, professional and managerial support to SMEs through the creation of an appropriate framework for business development and growth.
He recalled that amid slowing economic activity, COVID-19 has led to a surge in e-commerce and accelerated digital transformation. Digitalisation and innovation are key for the survival of the SME and cooperative sectors, he added, and appealed to enterprises to rethink about their economic models since businesses and consumers that were able to ‘go digital’ during the COVID-19 pandemic have helped mitigate the economic downturn.
Minister Bholah underlined that in a bid to create an appropriate framework for business development and growth of SMEs, the SMEs Division of the MIDSC has been upfront in exploring the possibility of having an electronic solution, namely an e-Commerce Platform with secured online payment facilities for SMEs to market their products locally, regionally and internationally.
For his part, Minister Balgobin dwelt on the need to create a conducive environment to facilitate the digital economy and to promote a transformative approach based on opportunities, inclusion and innovation.
He recalled that the MPL has developed and adopted an e-Commerce and online trading and payment platform. With its recent migration to the Post Global Postal System, the MPL is able to cater for the operations of different models of e-commerce platforms in Mauritius, he said. He also announced that the MPL will set up a special e-Commerce unit.
Furthermore, he indicated that its e-Commerce solution coupled with its network of 114 Post Offices and accompanying delivery logistics and shipment facilities to 660,000 postal access points across the world will facilitate the exchange of physical goods between buyers and sellers and ensure payment electronically or otherwise.