The GS1 Mauritius Ltd, a subsidiary of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the SME Mauritius Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday in Port Louis on the Barcode Registration Scheme for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the presence of the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah. The signatories were the Chairperson of GS1, Mr Cedric Lagesse, and the Chief Executive Officer of SME Mauritius Ltd, Mr Raj Puddoo.

The objectives of the scheme are to encourage micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to use GS1 barcodes to upgrade their products and gain easier market access; gain efficiency whilst enjoying lower costs through inventory management; enable exporting without modifications in the barcodes; traceability solutions and; international visibility. Some 85 MSMEs are expected to benefit from this scheme.

On this occasion, Minister Bholah highlighted that SMEs have been identified as major role players in the economic growth and transformational development of Mauritius and it is very important to develop the capacity, knowledge and skills of local entrepreneurs. Government's aim, he underlined, is to not only get the products of SMEs on the Mauritian market but also to get them export-ready. The collaboration with GS1 for the barcode registration scheme, he stated, will inspire and support SMEs' growth as well as empower them in doing business across borders.

According to the Minister, the world is moving towards a full-fledged digital society, and it is recommended that SMEs incorporate technology in their business routine in order to achieve sustainable growth. The expansion of e-commerce and the evolution of global value chains, he underlined, is opening up new trading opportunities and one major step forward to facilitate trade and access to market for SMEs, is the use of barcodes.

Barcodes, stated Mr Bholah, are one of the most innovative elements of business process automation which can help to track sales of products, categorise and centralise information, save time and increase efficiency. The barcode registration scheme consists mainly of 100% reimbursement on registration and training fees amounting to Rs 6 750, which will be paid by SMEs for developing and using barcodes. To this regard, the Minister urged local entrepreneurs to take full advantage of this facility and upgrade their businesses.

For his part, Mr Lagesse highlighted that the signing of the MoU between SME Mauritius Ltd and GS1 Mauritius Ltd bears testimony to the synergy that exists between Government and private institutions for setting up an inclusive trading system. He further said that it is undeniable thatbusinesses today are called upon to be innovative and that nurturing an innovative entrepreneurial culture within our country could be a game changer.

GS1 Mauritius Ltd

GS1 Mauritius Ltd is one of the 112 members of the GS1 Global, an international, non-profit organisation, best known for allocating unique GS1 barcodes worldwide. Since 1994, Mauritius is a member organisation of GS1 and is responsible to allocate GS1 identification numbers, mostly GS1 barcodes to trade operators in Mauritius. GS1 standards improve efficiency, safety, and visibility of supply chains across physical and digital channels. GS1 standards have been adopted by 1.5 million user companies with 6 billion transactions everyday in 25 sectors across the world.

Source: Government of Mauritius