Once a sugar-dependent country, Mauritius has emerged as a well-diversified economy well on the way to joining the league of high-income nations within the next 20 years. Since its early days as a major trading post on the route linking the East Indies to Europe, Mauritius has had an open economy, with strong linkages to Europe, Asia and Africa. Today, the island nation remains resolutely committed to its business tradition and counts as one of the most buoyant trading and investment platforms in Africa.
Here are 5 of the most compelling reasons why you should consider Mauritius for setting up or relocating your business:
1. A business-friendly environment
Mauritius currently ranks 20th worldwide and 1st in Africa on the World Bank Doing Business Survey. It has consistently improved its business environment to make it appealing for locals and foreigners alike to open a business either to cater for the local or the overseas market. Over the years, the Open Economy strategy of the government has paid off, with thousands of foreigners having successfully set up or relocated in Mauritius. The availability of a bilingual (French/English) and well-educated work force, a sound legal and regulatory framework and first-world infrastructure have contributed, amongst other factors, to the economic success of the country.
2. A plethora of onshore investment opportunities
The Economic Development Board (www.edbmauritius.org) has the responsibility of enabling foreign investment in the country and ensures coherence with the government’s development strategy. Currently, Mauritius offers a number of excellent business opportunities in numerous fields: agro-industry, aquaculture and ocean economy, education, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, property development and smart cities, ICT-BPO, life sciences, logistics, manufacturing, media and creative industries namely. Recently, the government introduced regulation for a sandbox license with the aim to foster rapid development in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology applications. Except for some specifically designated activities, namely in the tourism sector, there is no limitation to the sector a foreigner can do business in.
3. An efficient platform to conduct business with Africa
The close political, historical and cultural links Mauritius has with mainland Africa combined with a specific regime to promote cross-border business are rapidly turning the island into a preferred platform to do business with Africa. In addition to the conditions specific to operating in its so-called Global Business sector, Mauritius has a wide network of tax treaties and investment protection agreements with African countries, in addition to bilateral economic cooperation agreements. Mauritius ease of doing business, recognised good governance, well-developed banking system, absence of foreign exchange control, forward-looking legislation and quality of professional services are the main drivers having positioned the country as a preferred platform for investment and trade with Africa.
4. Access to property
Access to property by foreigners has been a key ingredient to entice non-nationals to resettle to Mauritius. In line with its Invest-Work-Reside policy, the government has put in place no less than four special schemes to promote the acquisition of property by non-citizens. Many foreign property owners choose to join a rental pool, deriving income from their investment, which will be subject to 15% local tax. There is no inheritance tax in Mauritius and no capital gains tax either. Coupling the property acquisition with the setting up of a trust under the Mauritius Trust Law is often an option chosen by foreigners.
5. A safe and pleasant living environment
Last but not least, Mauritius is a hospitable country with a long tradition of openness to foreigners. As the country advances on its economic development path, the drive to attract foreign talents, including from the Mauritian diaspora, becomes crucial. And with it, the ingredients for quality living which are already present: social stability, security and rule of law, availability of good international schools and universities, world-standard health services, extended air links, a plethora of leisure facilities, quality accommodation and housing.
Should you be considering setting up in or moving your business to Mauritius, Ocorian would be glad to assist.
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