AS A JURISDICTION
MAURITIUS IN NUMBERS
Over the years, Mauritius has crafted a strong growth-oriented developmental path which has enabled us to achieve one of the highest per capita income in Africa.
Mauritius has a sophisticated, transparent and well-regulated international financial centre with a conducive ecosystem offering a complete range of financial products such as treasury management centres, global funds, protected cell companies, captives, family offices and trusts. To incentivize new activities, the Government has introduced tax holidays for setting up regional headquarters, investment banking, and fund management, amongst others.
|International accolades||Rank in Africa||Rank worldwide|
|World Bank Doing Business 2020||1st||13th out of 190 countries|
|World Economic Forum - Global Competitive Index 2019||1st||54th out of 140 countries|
|International Property Rights Index 2019||3rd||52nd out of 180 countries|
|Mo Ibrahim Index Of African Governance 2020||1st||N/A|
|Fraser Institute - Economic Freedom Of The World 2019||1st||8th out of 162 countries|
|Human Development Index||2nd||66th out of 188 countries|
|The Economist Intelligence Unit - Democracy Index 2019||1st||17th out of 167 countries|
OVERVIEW OF MAURITIUS
Mauritius, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) off the southeast coast of the African continent, east of Madagascar. It includes the eponymous main island of Mauritius and Rodrigues, Agaléga and St. Brandon. The islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues form part of the Mascarene Islands, along with nearby Réunion, a French overseas department. The capital and largest city, Port Louis, is located on Mauritius, where most of the population is concentrated. The country spans 2,040 square kilometres (790 sq mi) and has an Exclusive Economic Zone covering 2.3 million square kilometres.
The climate is maritime subtropical, with fairly uniform temperature throughout the year. Mean temperatures vary from the mid-70s F (low to mid-20s C) at sea level to the upper 60s F (upper 10s C) on the high plateau. Two seasons are recognized: hot (December to April) and cool (June to September). Annual rainfall varies from around 35 inches (900 mm) on the west coast to 60 inches (1,525 mm) on the southeast coast and about 200 inches (5,080 mm) on the central plateau.
Approximately two-thirds of the population is of Indo-Pakistani origin, most of whom are descendants of indentured labourers brought to work in the sugar industry during the 19th and early 20th centuries. About one-fourth of the population is Creole (of mixed French and African descent), and there are small numbers of people of Chinese and Franco-Mauritian descent.
Although English is the official language, it is spoken by a very small percentage of the population. Creole, a French-based patois, is spoken by about four-fifths of the population and is the lingua franca of the country. Bhojpuri, an Indo-Aryan language, is spoken by one-tenth of the population, and French is spoken by a small percentage. Other languages spoken on the island include Hindi, Chinese, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. Mauritians commonly speak two, three, or even more languages, and the educational system supports a wide range of language instruction.
Mauritius has a mixed developing economy based on manufactured exports, agriculture, tourism, and financial services. Government efforts to diversify the economy after 1980 have been successful, and the island is no longer as completely dependent on sugar production as it was throughout most of its history. The gross domestic product, among the highest of African countries, grew more rapidly than the population in the 1990s and 2000s.
Below are some typical questions asked about Mauritius.
The cost of living in the country is relatively higher than other African nations. According to the World Bank, the country has an upper middle-income economy and is considered as one of the world’s top luxury destinations. Living expenses in the capital Port Louis are nearly 300% more expensive than in Karachi, India. The cost of living in Mauritius is also higher than in Thailand, South Africa, India, Romania, and Estonia. However, it is still cheaper than other major international cities such as New York, London, Paris, São Paulo and Dubai.
Mauritius is one of the safest countries in the region for resident and visiting foreigners. The national crime rate continues to be low, but the increase of drug use remains a growing problem. The police, customs officials, and the coast guard have made several large seizures of drugs; this may say more about the volume coming in than the amount stopped.
Despite these problems, crime in Port Louis (population of approximately 150,000) remains lower than in most U.S. cities of similar size. Port Louis and the areas of Flic en Flac, Grand Baie, or any other places tourists frequent are likely to have higher petty crime rates, especially at night. Most criminal activity directed against foreigners is non-violent. Foreigners are not specific targets for criminal activity, but may become targets of opportunity due to the failure to take minimal precautions.
Source: OSAC – Overseas Security Advisory Council – Mauritius 2020 Crime & Safety Report
DOING BUSINESS IN MAURITIUS
Mauritius ranked among the 20 best places to do business in Africa and worldwide.
Mauritius is a beacon of political, social and economic stability. With its wide network of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements and Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs), Mauritius offers investors a conducive environment for doing business which guarantees predictability, certainty and security. Mauritius is currently home to two leading arbitral institutions – the LCIA-MIAC, which is a partnership comprising the London Court for International Arbitration and the Mauritius International Arbitration Centre, and the Permanent Representative Office of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).
The Mauritius IFC boasts more than two decades’ track record in cross-border investment and finance, and offers an unparalleled well-regulated and transparent platform. As an internationally recognised jurisdiction of repute, the Mauritius IFC is home to a number of international banks, legal firms, corporate services, investment funds and private equity funds.
The Mauritian banking industry comprises of 20 banks, of which 5 local banks, 9 foreign-owned subsidiaries, 1 is a joint venture, 4 are branches of foreign banks and 1 is licensed as a private bank. All the banks are licensed by the Bank of Mauritius to carry out banking business locally and internationally.
The banking industry is characterised by the wide range of services provided. Besides traditional banking facilities, banks offer card-based payment services, such as credit and debit cards internet banking and phone banking facilities. Specialised services such as fund administration, custodial services, trusteeship, structured lending, structured trade finance, international portfolio management, investment banking, private client activities, treasury and specialised finance are also offered by banks. The international banks offer a wide range of global banking and financial services to corporate, institutional and private clients. Some of the biggest and most reputable international banks are present in Mauritius and actively carry out international cross border activities.
Below are some typical questions asked about Mauritius.
A person working in Mauritius typically earns around 35,000 MUR per month. Salaries range from 10,200 MUR (minimum salary) to 207,000 MUR (highest average, actual maximum salary is higher).
For a basic salary between 25,000 to 50,000, 12.5% is deducted as CSG, PAYE and NSF. The employer further contributes 6.5% of the basic salary as CSG, NSF and Levy.
For salaries above Rs 50,000, 19% is deductible and the employer further contributes 9.5% as CSG, NSF and Levy.
NSF: National Savings Fund
CSG: Contribution Sociale Généralisée (CSG)
Levy: HRDC Levy
PAYE: Pay As You Earn
The normal price of office spaces ranges between Rs.50 and Rs.150/ sq.ft depending on its location, the current condition of the building and its size. For info, the rental price of prime office spaces stands at Rs.100/sq.ft.
LIVING IN MAURITIUS
Mauritius, one welcoming island, which is usually referred to paradise is the place to live if you are planning on leaving your home country.
So much more than an island with idyllically beautiful beaches, Mauritius offers a range of activities, including shopping, watersports, a wide array of retail shopping centres with leading global brands, golf courses and a variety of sight-seeing landmarks.
Mauritius has a well-developed health system. About 73% of the health needs of the population are catered to by public health institutions and 27% by the private sector.
Public hospitals are free in Mauritius, but there are also several private clinics. Mauritius’ healthcare infrastructure includes five major public hospitals, six specialized public hospitals, 18 private multi-specialty clinics, 11 private specialized clinics, and 28 medical laboratories. There are more than 4,500 beds in both public and private hospitals.
Education is highly valued, and the state provides free education from primary school through to university for children who live in Mauritius. There is also a wide choice of international schools that are ideal for children moving from overseas to Mauritius.
Mauritius has a good bus service and it is the most economical way to travel and explore the island.
The best option to get around in Mauritius is by taxi. Though slightly expensive, these taxis are safe and comfortable, especially if you are travelling long distances. Do not encourage unlicensed taxis or taxis operating without metres as they can be unsafe. Since Mauritius has a good highway network from the north to the south of the island, hiring a self-drive car is a great way to discover the island. There are many local and international car rental companies but make sure you hire a car from a company which has a tourism enterprise license. Renting a self-drive car in Mauritius is fairly easy, foreign licenses are accepted as long as the driver is over 18 years of age.
Mauritian Rail, connecting major towns and cities, is the preferred mode of travel, especially for long distances. Passing through the gorgeous Mauritian countryside, the train rides are extremely scenic.
Bicycles and motorbikes are also available for rent in Mauritius and are a great way to explore the island at your own pace.
Below are some typical questions asked about the lifestyle in Mauritius.
Foreign nationals may opt to invest, work, live or retire in Mauritius through various avenues namely the Occupation Permit, the Residence Permit, Young Professional Occupation Permit or the Permanent Residence Permit.
Please refer to our Business and Family Relocation page for more information.