The Republic of Mauritius, an island nation with a population of 1.2 million and an economy based largely on tourism and textiles, has invested heavily in the latter in recent years. According to a story released by Africa Report, Mauritian textile and clothing manufacturers have worked hard to remain competitive with industries in Asian countries–investing in technology, upgrading facilities, cutting costs, and outsourcing labor when their own population failed to provide enough skilled laborers.
Over the last decade, attempts to cut costs and streamline has been hard felt–there are now only 174 textile and apparel companies in Mauritius, as compared to 272 in 2003, and less than a dozen companies are responsible for 90% of textile and clothing production. Industry employment numbers over the same decade dropped from 67,000 to 42,000. Still, according to the Mauritius Export Association, the textile and clothing industry grew 11.8% in 2011–the same year Mauritius was ranked third in Africa on the United Nation’s Human Development Index, which is used to measure, among other things, standards of living, infrastructural development, and the impact of economic policies on quality of life.