Mauritius is widely known as a popular tourist destination, thanks to its stunning coral reefs, deep blue ocean, and long sandy coastline.
However, there is a side to Mauritius that is often – and wrongly – overlooked, being the island as a valuable destination for business and investment.
As it stands, Mauritius is ranked 13th out of 190 countries by the World Bank and first in Africa for ease of doing business. And with ‘future ready infrastructure’, global connectivity, access to world-class talent and a business-friendly environment, it’s clear to see why.
So, how exactly has Mauritius grown into a leading business destination in the developing world and what should business leaders and high-net-worth investors consider if they are thinking of breaking into this picturesque and profitable territory?
Background on Mauritius
Mauritius is conventionally known as a mixed developing economy, reliant upon agriculture, exports, financial services, and tourism. When the country first gained independence in 1968, the expectations of the country’s economic growth were very minimal, with British economist Professor James Meade predicting the country would be unable to surpass growth expected from a small island nation.
However, fast-forward to 2023 and this nation has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a diversified upper-middle income economy with fast-growing financial, industrial, ICT, real estate, and hospitality sectors.
Developments in the Mauritian economy
With plans for continued growth and development – particularly into high growth and hi-tech sectors like energy, medical, fintech and artificial intelligence – it may come as no surprise to hear Mauritius achieved an impressive GDP growth rate of 7.2% during 2022, far exceeding the performance of developed Western economies and with further growth forecast for 2023 and beyond.
Furthermore, despite turbulence throughout the global economy, exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine, global supply constraints and rising shipping costs, Mauritius has remained resilient, with the Economic Development Board recording an estimated FDI flows of MUR 15.4 billion [USD 371 million] for the year 2021, with the main recipient being the real estate sector [54 per cent].
In a global context, it is evident that Mauritius is a direct contender with some of the fastest-growing economies, including France and South Africa. This momentum is only expected to continue as reinforced by a quick assessment of the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF), which increased by 19.52% in 2021 and is forecast to climb again during 2022 – 23. The major contributor to GFCF was real estate, with wholesale, retail, accommodation, and food industries following closely behind.
From these statistics, it’s safe to assume that the future of the Mauritian economy is extremely promising, and the GDP of the country is only expected to grow.
Why invest in Mauritius?
Not only is Mauritius the highest-performing economy in Africa, but the country also offers many attractive qualities for those considering investment in the island, including:
The government of Mauritius has implemented plenty of tax incentives for those who live, work, and invest in the Island. For example, while investors and business owners benefit significantly from zero capital gains, dividend, interest withholding or share transfer tax, the general tax rates of the country are extremely competitive, with income tax just 10 – 15%.
Furthermore, investors and business leaders also benefit from 100% foreign ownership and no estate duty, inheritance, or wealth tax.
No individual party or business wants to invest in a country that has the potential for civil unrest or political turmoil. Unique to many nations in the developing world, Mauritius has enjoyed political stability since its beginnings in 1968, with the Independence of the judicial system and political power offering the same guarantees to foreigners as to Mauritian citizens.
As such, Mauritians enjoy a peaceful and comfortable way of life, with the country is known for its quality lifestyle which combines modernity with beautiful tradition.
Attractive Visa Options
Mauritius is open to attracting new talent and investors wishing to live in Mauritius and offers a variety of visa opportunities such as the occupation permit, residence permit and many more.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the Mauritian Government developed and launched a new Premium Visa scheme which enables foreign professionals, digital nomads, families, and retirees to live, stay and work in Mauritius for an entire year for free before permanently moving to or investing in the Island. Since its launch in late 2020, 308 premium visas have been issued, with 8% of the recipients being British nationals.
Mauritius has introduced a set of favourable regulations for business and investment, which includes a quick and easy process for setting up a new business, even for those who do not live on the Island. In addition, start-ups can also benefit from policies such as simplified licencing, flexible labour laws, the security of investments ensured through international commitments and much more.
Mauritius is a diverse nation of 1.3 million people and offers a range of investment opportunities in a multitude of sectors.
Its ease of doing business ranking and stable governance creates the perfect business climate for international investors – with business leaders, high-net-worth individuals and investors provided with the opportunity.
|The Economic Development Board of Mauritius is holding an investor event at the end of March which you can RSVP for here|
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