Mauritius has emerged as an economic leader of the African nations. In 2017, the African Economic platform (AEP) was established, and they advocated for African-made goods and promoted trade across the continent. Now, new attention is deeming them the next hotspot sourcing destination.
Mauritius- Bringing Sourcing to Africa
The European fashion market has been manufacturing in Mauritius for over 50 years. By and large, this is due to their high-quality production and attention to detail. In fact, their specialization in the medium to higher-end apparel drew in companies such as Calvin Klein, Monoprix, and Asos, according to Sourcing Journal Online.
Even so, some companies such as Italian brand Denim De L’lle, have created erected vertically-integrated factories on the island. This situation has eliminated the issue of speed-to-market.
Trade Tensions and Diversifying the Supply Chain
Next, Mauritius has its sights set on North America. They saw trade tensions with China as an opportunity to get its foot in the door with the American apparel and retail market. Moreover, its role as a sourcing mecca just may come to fruition in light of companies looking to diversify their supply chain.
Geerish Bucktowonsing, the head of the traditional manufacturing division at theEconomic Development Board of Mauritius, told SJ Online, “U.S. buyers are not only looking towards China, Asia. They are expensive,” We share values of liberal economy, democracy, human rights…we follow these rules. It goes in line with what we call sustainability because we are a small island.”
Rising wages in Asia, paired with steep tariffs and a side of political uncertainty has benefited the nation. Above all, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has given Mauritius the privilege of “duty-free shipment for U.S.-bound apparel and textiles.”
Stefano Caccia, Marketing Manager of Denim De L’lle believes that many other companies will benefit from doing business with Mauritius. He stated, “Landed price we are actually cheaper than China on many products.” It turns out, a fresh perspective is producing higher profitability in an industry where margins are continually shrinking.