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Mauritius won top honours in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with 4.7 out of 7 points, and was ranked 29th out of 138 countries globally, according to the Global Enabling Trade Report 2014 published by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Published every two years, the last report which came out in 2012 ranked Mauritius at 36th place with 4.62 points.

The report notes that Mauritius is one of the success stories in terms of trade development in Africa and its strong trade performance is reflected in the results it achieves on the enabling trade index.

“Access to domestic markets is almost completely free, with very low tariff rates (0.8%, on average), and Mauritius also benefits from a high margin of preference on tariffs in target markets,” notes the report.

However, it goes on to state that “room for improvement remains in terms of the availability of quality logistics services in the country”.

Meanwhile, South Africa scored 4.2 points and was ranked second in the region but 59th globally, according to the latest report, improving over its last ranking of 63.

Moreover, according to the report, Rwanda was ranked at the 66th place with 4.1 point, and came third among SSA countries, slipping from second place in the region at a global 51st last year.

However, Nigeria, recently crowned the largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, continues to underperform on the index. The West African economy’s lowly, 124th rank on the index is blamed on “underdeveloped infrastructure across all modes of transport, insufficiently available and costly transport services and low use of ICTs”.

Looking at the individual parameters of the index, Mauritius scored 5.3 points out of 7 at the Market access sub-index rankings, positioning itself second behind Singapore and Chile which were tied at 5.5 points.

On the parameter of domestic market access, Mauritius as well as New Zealand took second place with 6.1 points out of 7, whereas Hong Kong, Libya  and  Singapore where tied for first place with a score of 7.0.

However, on foreign market access, Mauritius dropped by two positions relative to its last ranking, and had to settle for fourth place with 4.5 points out of 7. Nepal and Lao PDR outdistanced Mauritius by 0.2 points, Chile came second with a score of 5.1 and finally, Cambodia stepped up to first place with 5.3 points.

However, it was under “the efficiency and transparency of border administration” index, which captures efficiency, transparency and costs associated with importing and exporting goods, transparency and costs associated, that pulled Mauritius down. The island economy was ranked a lowly 45th with 4.3 points, and shared space with Morocco, Costa Rica, Italy, China, South Africa, Slovak Republic, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Montenegro and Panama.

Once again, for the Infrastructure subindex rankings, Mauritius failed to make it to the top 10, and ranked 55th with 4.1 points.

Finally, under the operating environment subindex ranking, which measures the quality of key institutional factors impacting the business of importers and exporters active in a country, Mauritius emerged at 31st place with 4.8 points, sharing the spot with Iceland.

The Global Enabling Trade Report (GETR) series has been published by the World Economic Forum since 2008, initially on an annual basis, and biennially since 2010. From the beginning, the assessment has been based on the Enabling Trade Index (ETI).

The index was developed within the context of the World Economic Forum’s Enabling Trade program, with the help of leading academia and partner organizations and companies for example A.P. Möller Maersk, AB Volvo, Agility, Brightstar Corp., Deutsche Post DHL, DNB ASA and Emirates Group.

Image (WEF): The report notes that Mauritius is one of the success stories in terms of trade development in Africa and its strong trade performance is reflected in the results it achieves on the enabling trade index.

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