This is the conclusion to be drawn from the webinar organised on June 3rd by the Cabinet Utopies*, on the initiative of the MCB bank. A real roadmap that could be the start of a new economic model. Explanations.

“Never doubt that a small group of conscious and committed individuals can change the world.” By highlighting this sentence of the famous anthropologist Margareth Mead, Utopies is setting the Mauritian clock back to the time of the economic pre-miracle. At a time when a handful of visionary and committed entrepreneurs, such as José Poncini, Amédée Maingard or Edouard Lim Fat, set the island on the path to its meteoric development. Forty years and 18 months of health crisis later, Mauritius must urgently rethink itself and this “Lokal Rebound” study provides the keys to strengthening the island’s productive resilience and proposes concrete ways to make this reinforcement a reality. In short, as Elisabeth Laville, founder of Utopies, reminded us: “By relying on our know-how, we will be able to diversify our production by adding more value and guaranteeing long-term prosperity. We will come back in more detail in our columns on the content of this study, which is both an audit and a scorecard for the medium and long term, but let us highlight its main points here.

Two key words: capillarity and economic transplants

Although barely 20.5% of Mauritian needs are counted as coming from productive resilience, “we have a lot of local resources to reinvent ourselves and engage in a new mutation”, summarised Yannis Fayd’Herbe, President of the Association of Mauritian Manufacturers (AMM). To achieve this, it is good to “consider the local economy as a forest to be preserved and regenerated”, according to Annabelle Richard, Manager of Sustainable Local Economies at Utopies.

According to the study, which takes many existing examples and simulations from our local (or even regional) capacities, the diversification of the economy must: Start from local know-how, be done gradually (by productive capillarity or leaps) or by grafting, synonymous with local synergies. In this respect, the MCB bank, which financed the study, has announced the launch of PUNCH through its Head of Business Banking, Dominic Provençal. An innovative financial product adapted to SMEs, the real growth drivers of tomorrow. More details on these topics will be published in our next edition of the magazine.

By Jacques Rombi

*UTOPIES was founded in 1993, originally as an association, to encourage companies to integrate social and environmental issues into their strategy, and to support them in this revolution.