A melting pot of the world’s oldest civilisations, Mauritius is a rare example of social peace and unity in a multi-cultural society. The population boasts origins from the European and African continents, as well as India and China. Such a cosmopolitan legacy makes for legendary hospitality. Mauritius is also a safe place to live, Mauritians being naturally well-inclined and of a peaceful nature. All Mauritians enjoy freedom of expression and of religion.
There is freedom of the press with the presence of dozens of dailies and weeklies. Mauritius has enjoyed enduring political stability ever since independence in 1968. The Government is democratically elected every 5 years. The Constitution is based on the Westminster Parliamentary model.
Our successive governments have all shown strong and sustained commitment to a market-driven economy where free enterprise can flourish and foreign investment prosper. The present government is set to take the country into yet another leap into its future that of a global island and an emerging economic powerhouse in the region.
Mauritius has the highest adult literacy rate for the whole of Africa as a result of free education at primary and secondary school level. This highly disciplined and educated workforce is also equally fluent in English and French, while many also speak a third international language: Hindi, Mandarin, Urdu and a host of European languages. The workforce is young, 29.2% being aged less than 30 and business spirited, innovative thinking and open to the world.
Mauritius has a smart brand of fine professionals, most of who qualified from internationally recognized institutions and/or world class professional bodies: chartered accountants, financial analysts, corporate lawyers, tax specialists, business consultants, IT engineers, architects. Recently, the Government of Mauritius enacted legislation encouraging foreign professionals to set up in the country.
Benefitting from a convenient time zone that makes same-day transactions possible from the US, through Europe, the Middle-East and Australasia, Mauritius is emerging as a major international business platform in this region of the world.
The Mauritian economy is one of the fastest growing in sub-Saharan Africa. In just three decades, the country has moved from a mono-crop sugar-dominated economy to being services oriented. The tertiary sector currently accounts for 70% of GDP, a fair indication of our impressive track record.
While traditional growth sectors like tourism and manufacturing continue to be strong, many other opportunities have arisen in emerging sectors with the potential to become tomorrow’s economic pillars of a regional powerhouse. This rapid transition to a mature economy, one of just two in Africa to have graduated to middle-income status, comes as a promising result of sound economic management coupled with a vision to succeed shared between the government, the business community and civil society at large.
While endowed with a small, but increasingly affluent local population, Mauritius has secured preferential access to markets worth several hundreds of millions of consumers. With the EU, through the Cotonou agreement; with the US under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act; with Eastern and Southern Africa, through the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Mauritian traditional investors are also very receptive to partnering with their international counterparts. An increasing number of joint ventures are being witnessed today, in the traditionally strong sectors as well as in a growing number of innovation-driven emerging sectors.
Mauritius has been endowed with a natural gift for business ever since she was a major trading post for the renowned French “Compagnie des Indes” two centuries ago. In the years 1600′, she was referred to as the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean. The entrepreneurial spirit lives on. The business community is active and the government is instrumental in making things happen. Today, any foreign investor can settle hassle-free in Mauritius and be operational in just 3 days. Add to this one of the world’s most generous tax regimes, where personal and corporate tax are harmonized at a low 15% and where dividends are tax free, a country with no exchange control, a country where export-oriented operators enjoy duty-free privilege for their inputs and equipment. Mauritius has signed Double Taxation Agreements Treaties with 40 countries so far and is signatory to a number of Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPA).
Mauritius has a well developed network of internal and external communications. An extensive and well maintained road infrastructure; a modern and efficient port capable of berthing vessels up to 100 metres; a web of sea links and direct air connections with several cities around the world; high band fibre cable connectivity; a reliable fixed and mobile telephone network; express courier service providers and freight forwarders; fully serviced business and industrial parks; a free port; well equipped and comfortable offices.
It is easy to travel around the island by bus, taxi or rented cars from several local and international car renting companies.
The Government has ensured doing business in and from Mauritius is both easy and smooth and complies with best practices in terms of transparency, good governance and ethics. Mauritius has enacted anti-money laundering and terrorist financing legislation while the business framework itself has been made simpler. Commercial law in Mauritius is a combination of the English Common Law and the French Napoléon Code.