This study looks at the problems and prospects of Mauritius, with special reference to the impact of manufacturing on the economic and social development of the island. It examines critically the performance of the Mauritian economy and selected economic policies primarily during the period 1983-1993. Owing to changing economic conditions both in the domestic and international markets, the factors and policies which during the 1980s enabled the country to achieve high economic growth and speed up socio-economic transformations are no longer valid during the 1980s. Central to this study is the search for more effective policies to sustain economic growth without exposing adverse externalities on the environment and utilise resources more optimally through the introduction of managerial techniques and technological innovations.
To achieve this objective, a number of techniques, theories and models are applied. These are:
(ii) development (including social analysis) theories and growth models;
(ii) time series analysis;
(iii) trade theories;
(iv) national income analysis and SWOT analysis;
(v) Input-Output model;
(vi) linear programming; and
(vii) sensitivity analysis.
These models are discussed step by step, supported by empirical evidence wherever applicable. In addition, as a continuing theme running throughout the thesis, comparisons are made with a sample of economies at different levels of economic development. This comparative study, which also necessitated field trips in these countries (except Fiji), serves as a yardstick to assess the economic and social performance of Mauritius and evaluate the potential for future growth and development.
The findings of the study have important implications for Mauritius in terms of resource allocations, policy formulation and action-oriented programs. It also establishes the link between academic research and practical solutions within an economy wide framework. The policy-makers of islands sharing similarities with Mauritius, notably those covered in the comparative study, should also find some thought-provoking strategies for adaptation in their own specific economic environment. The objectives originally set for this study have therefore been met.