Entrepreneurs! Mauritius will charm you
In addition to being an internationally renowned tourist destination, Mauritius has built itself a solid reputation as a reliable and secure financial centre. Indeed, there are many good reasons for entrepreneurs to choose Mauritius to live and work.
Mauritius is a business hub for the region and an essential platform for international trade. Many factors can prove it. The Mauritian government has put in place favourable incentives and a business-friendly ecosystem to encourage foreign direct investment as well as institutional investors.
Several foreign companies, including more than 170 of French origin and mainly SMEs and entrepreneurs, chose to carry out their business activities from Mauritius. These companies, which employ about 13,000 Mauritian and foreign employees, are active in areas such as subcontracting, IT services, distribution, and tourism amongst others. With more than EUR 110 million of investment in 2017, France is in first position ahead of South Africa, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows.
Source : Economic Development Board, 2016
Although the French favour the island, many other nationalities have come to Mauritius in recent years (as we can see in the graph above). So why is Mauritius a great place for entrepreneurs?
Mauritius: regional services hub
The banking system became stronger over the years and now boasts about 20 banks, both local and international. The insurance business and the wealth management market are growing rapidly. The Stock Exchange of Mauritius is an attractive platform for raising capital and listing for both local and international issuers. It is also one of the few stock exchanges in Africa to offer a multi-currency listing, and to be open to dual-currency trading.
Mauritius has also made significant progress in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Business Process Outsourcing sectors. In addition, the country’s economic activity extends to several other areas such as construction (including luxury residences for local and international customers), free port activities, medical tourism, and education with the presence of private international schools and universities (French and English-speaking).
An evolving International Financial Centre
There are many reasons for entrepreneurs to choose Mauritius. The island ranks first among African countries in several areas, including ease of doing business, political and social stability, good governance, economic freedom and ICT development. Owing to its strategic location between Africa and Asia, the country is an increasingly attractive destination for foreign investors and is the perfect platform to invest in both regions.
In addition to its diversified economy, the Mauritian International Financial Centre also combine other elements such as its robust and hybrid legal system (common law and civil law), its international arbitration centre, and its bilateral and multilateral relations. Indeed, Mauritius has concluded several Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) and Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs) with nearly 50 countries. It is also part of several international communities, including the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa(COMESA), the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Indian-Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and the Indian Ocean Commission (COI).
The Bank of Mauritius and the Financial Services Commission regulate and supervise the banking and non-banking financial services sector. Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) laws are strict. Mauritius fully supports international initiatives such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF-GAFI) and the OECD – which classifies Mauritius as ‘Compliant with global tax laws’, and is a member of the Anti-Money Laundering Group for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESAAMLG).
Other financial benefits include the absence of exchange controls, capital gains tax and withholding tax.
Entrepreneurs; why choose Mauritius?
Mauritius provides a favourable environment for companies and individuals who wish to do business in and from the island. For entrepreneurs and their family, it offers clear advantages in terms of climate, security, access and health, and offers an ideal living environment for those who wish to relocate to Mauritius. The island also ranks first in Africa for quality of life, according to Mercer’s international survey.
Stable political, economic and social environment; the island is an example of peace and social unity in a multicultural landscape. Indeed, the population comes from the European, African and Asian (India and China) continents. The island also offers several activities such as excursions, trails, water sports, scuba diving, skydiving, horse riding by the sea and many more. You will be able to enjoy the beautiful beaches and a sumptuous and breath-taking nature. You will not be disoriented! You will still have a wide choice of international brands and products in the various shopping centres and supermarkets.