Manufacturing and SMEs
The manufacturing sector is limited to a few enterprises, namely food processing, metal work, wood products, garment making (tailoring), shoe making and small agro-business. The industry produces for the limited local market.
Local materials such as ‘vetiver’, aloes and coconut shells are utilised to manufacture handicraft products such as hats, bags, doormats, dolls and toys, crochet, fancy jewellery and coral sculpture. Basketry and weaving from natural fibres is an important activity for Rodriguans, who have a ready supply of inexpensive and useful articles for the household.
With the recent surge in tourism, the Rodriguans have become increasingly aware of the economic importance of their local craft, and the sector is set to experience considerable growth in the future.
The development of the other sectors will entail a significant demand for manufactured products, especially processed food. Rodrigues benefits from the same advantages as Mauritius in term of access to regional commercial blocs (COMESA, SADC) and other international markets. This represents great opportunities for manufacturers who can avail themselves of local resources to boost their exports.