Mauritius Uncovered

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Mauritius Uncovered
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Investing in Mauritius

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Used in the past as a platform for rest during long voyages of trade due to its strategic location in the Indian Ocean (and so wisely named key of the Indian Ocean), Mauritius now exploits this location to encourage international trade and ensure a fruitful economic base for itself. Metamorphosing from a mono crop economy based on sugarcane, Mauritius boasts itself as an investment hub not only regionally (African region) but internationally with markets extending to Asia, Europe and the United States. During the past years, the island has made tremendous progress in business opportunities and has been quoted as an example of determination and commitment to achieve financial success by the World Bank. Mauritius has signed a number of protocols regarding business procedures and so there are all sorts of legislations and laws for investors to keep their peace of mind about investing on the island.

Why invest in Mauritius?

The many advantages that Mauritius offers as a business place are numerous without the need to mention the climate, serene atmosphere and help in all the steps required to set up a business. Still, one of the most attractive traits of the island for business opportunities is the economic, political and social stability that the island provides given its multi cultural basis. The work force is very capable too consisting of young graduates eager to learn and stride forward (both male and female) and can speak English and French very fluently. Moreover, infrastructure on the island is at its best with good road networking, provision of water and electricity in all areas, full internet connection anywhere on the island and excellent telecommunication facilities, good shipment vessels like ships and planes and the availability of buildings with all the necessary infrastructures. Also, the tax regime in Mauritius is very low at a rate of 15% and investors can import materials exempted from duty. Mauritius has an open market for trade thanks to friendly relationships with clients from the SADC, COMESA, EU etc.

The Board of Investment of Mauritius

Under the authority of the Ministry of Finance, the Board of Investment of Mauritius (BOI) is the regulatory body concerned with business procedures on the island. Set up in 2001, the BOI brands Mauritius as a safe place to invest in and facilitates investment matters both for local and foreign entrepreneurs. Services offered by the board include finding suitable business areas, scheduling meetings and visits to potential business sites, counselling, provision of information for specific businesses, finding partners if necessary and assistance with obtaining permits for the business and stay in Mauritius.

Business opportunities

There are a lot of areas to invest in in Mauritius but they can be broadly classified as:
Agro industry: Investment is highly encouraged in the food sector to make the island less import dependent especially in the rise of global food prices; opportunities are mainly in dairy production, milk pasteurization and hydroponic farming.
Creative industries: Mauritius is very proud of its origins in Africa, Asia and Europe. Cultural diversity is an important aspect of the Mauritian society and given the mix of all the talents available on the island, investment in this sector is an interesting idea.
Financial services: Positive feedback has been obtained from international organisations ranking the island 20th globally and 1st in Africa in terms of the financial services provided especially via the Bank of Mauritius and so investment in this sector can be said to be a wise step like in banking, insurance, legal services, capital markets etc.
Healthcare and life sciences: The island aims at becoming a technological and pharmaceutical hub and thus encourages growth in clinical, pharmaceutical and life science industries, biotechnology, bioinformatics and medical travelling
Hospitality and property development: Tourism is one of the basic pillars of the Mauritian economy and so it makes sense to invest in this sector with regards especially to real estate agencies, buildings, shopping malls etc.
Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing: The BPO sector has been expanding over the past few years providing 15,000 jobs and it is estimated to create 25,000 jobs by 2015 in the fields of telemarketing, customer service, media and design.
Knowledge: Mauritius invests a lot of money in its educational system thus serving as a platform of study not only to locals but to international students too and offering a broad range of universities and courses.
Logistics and distribution services: With the key location of the Freeport and easy airport facilities, Mauritius offers a lot of opportunities in terms of storage facilities, warehousing, bulk breaking, grading, exporting etc.
Manufacturing and light engineering: The manufacturing sector is one which is always on the go and in Mauritius, it is concerned mainly with watch assembly, jewellery, semi conductors and IT chips, surgical instruments, medical textiles, mobile phones etc.
Renewable energies and environment: In the context of the ‘Maurice Ile durable’ vision, investments in renewable energies (solar/wind/water) are encouraged by the government as well as waste and water management.
Seafood and aquaculture: Given the rich marine life of the Mauritian waters, there are numerous opportunities for investment in this sector be it for the exploitation of resources for export or for research.
yonne Published 04 Aug 2011

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