The wooden furniture industry in Mauritius can be divided into four main components namely manufacture of: household furniture products, office products like furniture, partitions, frames, shelves, Interior décor and decorative items, Construction such as doors, windows panels and staircases.
The sector consists of 4,675 enterprises and generates employment for 10,456 persons. Its total output is estimated at Rs 4.8 bn per annum. 99.36 % out of the 4,675 manufacturers i.e., 4,645 constitute small establishments employing less than 10 persons. The rest are medium and large enterprises employing approximately 877 persons and contributing 30 % of total output of the sector.
With the reduction in import duty on furniture items, there has been a gradual increase in import of furniture to reach in 2008 42% to local consumption. The value of imports reached Rs 1.8 bn. Mauritius imports mainly from China, Malaysia and Indonesia because these are the low cost producing countries.
Role played by Enterprise Mauriti UUS to curb down imports
In order to reverse this trend and increase the competitiveness of locally manufactured furniture products, Enterprise Mauritius has taken several initiatives such as capacity building and upgrading of quality and the finish of locally made furniture with the help of external resource persons.
Local manufacturers have also been benefiting from different funding schemes proposed by EM mainly the Enterprise Development Fund.
One of the fundamental roles played by Enterprise Mauritius is to encourage companies to export. In this respect, it is interesting to note that some companies have succeeded to export to several countries as shown in the table.
Country Volume (fob)
Reunion Island Rs mn 18.4
Mayotte Rs mn 9.08
France Rs mn 5.26
Madagascar Rs mn 4.54
Seychelles Rs mn 2.20
Our exports to these countries consist mainly of bedroom (79%), kitchen (12%) and office furniture (9%).