Mauritius

Strategically located in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is ideally positioned to leverage the promise and potential of the African continent. As an African country, Mauritius serves as a ‘strategic development partner’ for the continent.

Covid-19 latest information

This guide is an accurate reflection of the pre-Covid-19 business environment in Mauritius. Please note that due to the current situation, some circumstances may have changed in this country. Figures and data in the guide were last updated in August 2021.

 

Welcome to Mauritius

Africa possesses approximately 30% of the globe’s remaining mineral resources, 60% of the world’s available arable land and is home to 13% of the world’s population. As a gateway to Africa, Mauritius continuously introduces pro-African policies to improve the investment climate and market access conditions for investment flows in and out of Africa. Mauritius is ranked 13th in the world for ease of doing business and has, over the years, consolidated its leadership position in Sub-Saharan Africa.

With the cross-border connectivity of HSBC globally, HSBC Mauritius can meet both your personal and business needs.

With 100-plus years of presence, HSBC Mauritius welcomes wholesale banking, financial institution groups and retail banking customers by offering a wide range of financial services; namely, credit and lending, liquidity and cash management, trade services, treasury, global custody and custody and clearing.

I look forward to welcoming you!

Bonnie Yi Jing QIU Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Mauritius

HSBC Mauritius
Level 6 HSBC Centre, 18 Cybercity, Ebene, Mauritius 72201
www.business.hsbc.co.mu

Essentials

Population
1.3 million1
Size
2,040 km(2)
Main languages
Mauritian Creole (English, French, Bhojpuri and Hindi are widely spoken)
Capital city
Port Louis
Other major cities
Ebene, Beau-Bassin/Rose-Hill, Curepipe, Quatre-Bornes, Vacoas/Phoenix
Currency
Mauritius Rupee (MUR)
Dialling code
+230
GDP growth rate
3%2
Top exports
Cane or beet sugar, textile and apparel, fish and fish preparations, precious stones3
Total exports
MUR79 billion1
Unemployment rate
6.7% in 2019
Corporation tax
15%
Typical office hours
9 am - 4.30 pm Monday to Friday
Time zone
GMT +4
Banking hours
9 am - 3.30 pm Monday to Friday
Top imports
Oil products, motor vehicles, frozen fish3
Total imports
MUR199 billion1
Leading share index
SEMDEX
Stock exchange
Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM)
Repo rate
1.85% in 2020
GNI per capita
USD 12,7401
Annual average inflation in 2020
2.5%

1 Economic Development Board Mauritius
2 The World Bank
3 Mauritius Trade

Mauritius: Sub-Saharan Africa’s Dynamic Island Nation

Strong economy

The economy of Mauritius has grown by an average of 3.8% every year since 2015, and over the past 20 years GDP per capita has grown by almost 280%.

Trusted financial services

The finance sector contributes to 12% of GDP and has a sectoral growth rate of 5.2%. It has become a prominent domicile to a number of international banks, legal firms, corporate services providers, investment funds and private equity funds.

Tourism on the rise

During the last five years, tourism has been among the fastest growing socio-economic sectors, boosting economic growth, driving employment and generating business opportunities. 1.38 million tourists visited Mauritius in 2019.

High-income incoming

Mauritius has a vision to achieve high-income status. Supported by a highly productive manufacturing sector, it is projected to contribute a quarter of the country's GDP by 2030. The industrial sector is poised to be globally competitive and the sustainability sector will boost economic growth through innovation, technology, productivity gains and high-skill employment.

Strategic location

Mauritius has a strategic location in the Indian Ocean at a crossroads with Asia, Africa and Australia, with a favourable time zone of GMT +4. The country provides ease of access to international markets and currently holds multiple bilateral and multi-lateral tax treaties.

Well-educated and stable

The population is well-educated and largely bilingual in English and French. Mauritius has a high standard of living, good schooling, good medical care and a comprehensive digital network that is constantly improving.

Ranked

# 13th

World Bank – Ease of doing business 2020

Country profile

Since its independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculture-based economy to an upper-middle-income diversified economy. Mauritius has sustained fairly steady annual GDP growth over the past 20-plus years, with an average growth rate of 3-4% per annum. Now, Mauritius is aspiring to reach high-income status by 2030, to be achieved through the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals as established by the United Nations.

Mauritius has a diverse set of established sectors, including agriculture (prominently sugar cane), tourism, textiles and financial services, as well as a number of emerging sectors – prepared or preserved fish, technology and infrastructure (projects include construction of smart cities, real estate and the Metro Express). Mauritius is ranked 1st in Africa and 13th worldwide by the World Bank for ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and has one of Sub-Saharan Africa's highest per capita incomes.

Mauritius is a country with a strong legal system and political stability that continuously attracts foreign investment and incentivises trade activities.

Ranked

# 54th

World Economic Forum - Global competitiveness index 2019

Mauritius currently has 44 tax treaties with countries across the world and is party to a series of treaties under negotiation. Some of the leading countries and territories are China, United Kingdom, India and France, amongst others. There are also 29 IPPAs – Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements –currently in force and approximately 15 under negotiation.

On the regulatory side, Mauritius has a sophisticated, transparent and well-regulated international financial centre with an ecosystem offering financial products such as treasury management centres, global funds, protected cell companies, captive domiciles, family offices and trusts. To incentivise new activities, the Government has introduced tax holidays for setting up regional headquarters, investment banking, and fund management, amongst others.

Read on to discover more about the dos and don’ts of doing business in Mauritius, and how trading in or with the country could help boost the future growth of your business.

5 reasons to do business in Mauritius

  1. Easy to do business
    Mauritius is ranked 1st in Africa and 13th worldwide by the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings in 2019. Companies can be incorporated in Mauritius within three working days.
  2. Attractive and flexible tax system
    Mauritius is a comparatively low-tax regime and has 44 treaties with countries and territories across the world.
  3. Low trade barriers
    An average of 0.8% is applied as tariff for customs duties and trade barriers are low. .
  4. Protection for foreign business owners
    Mauritius has 29 Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements currently in force and approximately 15 more under negotiation.
  5. Convenient time zone
    Mauritius is situated in the Indian Ocean, with a time zone that bridges Europe and Australia.

5 key challenges to doing business in Mauritius

  1. 1

    Shortage of suitably skilled workers

    According to a study conducted by the Human Resources Development Council (HRDC), Mauritius has a shortage of suitably skilled workers especially in the manufacturing sector. The prominent reasons are many candidates were unable to combine qualifications and work experience. Proficient candidates have either high salary expectations or prefer to pursue more attractive overseas job offers. To address these issues, the Mauritian government is conducting initiatives by establishing better links between employers and training institutions and also discouraging talented people from leaving the country to work abroad by learning from countries who have successfully dealt with a similar challenge.

  2. 2

    An ageing population

    In the long run, the ageing population will exercise financial pressure on the economy, which requires public debt levels to be contained. Amongst others, the country’s pension system will be a high contributor to it.

  3. 3

    Declining external competitiveness

    Declining external competitiveness needs to be addressed through concerted efforts to boost productivity, labour market efficiency and economic diversification.

  4. 4

    Rising unemployment due to COVID-19

    The unemployment trend will be heavily affected by the adverse economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tourism and textile are the sectors which are the most at risk.

  5. 5

    Need for infrastructure improvement

    With a growing population in recent years, Mauritius is now in urgent need of infrastructure improvement. The Mauritian government has set a key priority to improve the road networks to help ease traffic congestion, renew and replace old pipes to improve water supply, make use of technology to revamp wastewater disposal and introduce a metro and tram system to improve public transport. Further extension of the metro and tram systems is expected for Ebene, North Mauritius and South Mauritius.