11 Jun 2020 - Socio-economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic calls for pushing forward the Blue Economy agenda, marine spatial planning, and perhaps most important of all – a new narrative about the Large Ocean States.
Mauritius and Seychelles, like other Small Island Developing States, are facing significant economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. A small economic base, a high degree of openness, and extreme dependence on the fiscal performance of developed countries in the global north have left these countries with limited options to withstand the current health and consequent socio-economic crisis. A sharp fall in tourism revenues and remittances for both countries is likely to result in a significant economic contraction in 2020; and, further, intensify their vulnerability to external shock.
Large Ocean Economies: Turning the Economy Blue
One pathway to socio-economic recovery is to better leverage the true size of these Small Island Developing States and the opportunities that this represents. Their combined Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) - Mauritius at 2.3 million km2 and Seychelles at 1.3 million Km2 - actually represent an area bigger than India, with significant and untapped economic potential.