Africa

Mauritius cooperates with UK in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology fields

Mauritius: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Mauritius Institute of Biotechnology Ltd and the Department for International Trade of the United Kingdom (UK) on cooperation in the fields of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology was signed this afternoon during a ceremony held in Port-Louis, in the presence of the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy.

Other dignitaries, including the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal, and the British High Commissioner to Mauritius, Ms Charlotte Pierre, were present on occasion.

The MoU will cover the promotion, development and acceleration of the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products, including vaccines and other drugs.

In his address, the Finance Minister expressed gratitude to the British High Commission for undertaking this partnership with Mauritius, which, he said, would bring value and momentum to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries in Mauritius by successfully encouraging the development of a sustainable and prime biopharmaceutical industry.

The Minister expressed his conviction that the MoU would pave the way for the swift achievement of Mauritius’ set vision for a high-tech biopharmaceutical industry, in line with its aspiration to rise as a regional Centre of Excellence in the field of biopharmaceuticals.

He emphasised that this collaborative venture was a natural extension of Mauritius’ already strong and sustained historic, social and economic ties with the UK. Dr Renganaden Padayachy recalled that the latter had been a key partner in establishing new, complex and innovative industries in Mauritius in recent years.

As regards the MoU, Minister Padayachy indicated that it would be a guiding roadmap of collaboration between institutions and companies of the two countries, supported by the respective Governments, to build the new biopharmaceutical architecture in Mauritius through the transfer of knowledge, skills and technology as well as the facilitation of marketing initiatives, among others.

Moreover, the Finance Minister dwelt on the proactive and innovative approach adopted by the Mauritian Government in developing the biopharmaceutical sector, such as a series of budgetary measures, including the setting up of the Mauritius Institute of Biotechnology Ltd in 2021 with a seed capital of around USD 25 million.

As for the British High Commissioner, she underlined the need for continued investment in capacity building in the pharmaceutical and biotechnical sectors while recalling that the development of vaccines changed the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, saving the lives of many people.

Ms Charlotte Pierre remarked that the signing of the MoU between Mauritius and the UK marked a timely and excellent opportunity for the two countries to come together and build on the existing partnership to face present and future challenges.

According to her, as both countries were on the path of recovery, they must continue to invest in the sectors that would drive both medical progress and contribute significantly to their respective economies.

Moreover, she underlined that the Agreement embodied the shared commitment of both parties to resilience and efficiency in the economic and health systems and was a testimony of the shared values and high mutual ambitions for the future. Besides, the British High Commissioner lauded the Government of Mauritius for its unyielding commitment and efforts to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for the rolling out of measures to deal with its economic and financial consequences.

Amelia Jones

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