The World Bank notes that Mauritius faces several challenges in the near future due to rising unemployment and increasing external competition for export markets. These are: to improve the economic growth rate through higher productivity, to raise skill levels through better education, to encourage investment in new industries, and to reform the civil service. Reform of the education system in particular is a priority, since an increasing number of young people are entering the job market without the requisite qualifications. At the same time, the government is focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises as a strategy for promoting economic growth and unemployment.
The recent setback in economic growth has spurred an internal campaign against poverty on the island, resulting in the establishment of the Mauritius Trust Fund. The Trust will use its US$1.5 million budget to fund over 270 projects across the island and also in the neighboring Rodrigues Island. These projects are directed at infrastructure, education, social cohesion through social and cultural programs, as well as coordination of different programs of action. Also, the combined efforts of the Mauritian Women and Family Welfare Ministry are spreading a message to women to end poverty through education.
For business, however, the mood is optimistic. It is estimated that close to 53 percent of the population expects the volume of production and services to increase in the year 2001, according to local surveys.