Since its independence from the British Empire in 1968, Mauritius has been a low-income sugar-based economy which has undergone a remarkable transformation over the last five decades to become a diversified upper-middle-income economy based on information technology, financial and business services, tourism as well as industries.
Mauritius has sustained a Gross Domestic Product per capita of 20,319$ in 2019, ranking it third in Africa. It is also the freest economy in Africa according to the 2019 Index of Economy Freedom of the US based Heritage Foundation. Incidentally, Mauritius has sustained a high Human Development index which adds to its remarkable success over the years.
Mauritius has built a strong reputation of being a business platform and a gateway for investment throughout the years, for a number of significant reasons:
Firstly, foreign investors have shown interest in Mauritius because of its social and political stability (ranked 18th out of 167 countries according to The Economist Intelligence Unit, which measures the state democracy in the world) on which they can rely. The Republic of Mauritius was proclaimed in 1992. Politically, it is a Parliamentary sovereignty based on the Westminsterian model with a President as head of State with no executive powers compared to the Government, headed by the Prime Minister, which holds all executive powers to run the country while answering to the Parliament.
Secondly, Mauritius is known for its ease of doing business. Foreign investors have access to a bilingual and highly educated and skilled workforce and state of the art physical and ICT infrastructures.
Strategically located at crossroads of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Mauritius has proven itself to be a business-friendly country with competitive operational cost, a vibrant Financial services sector, competitively prices business costs, an investment-friendly regulatory regime, and one of the lowest tax regime in the world (15%). As a key member of regional economic organisations such as the African Union, COMESA, SADC and the Indian Ocean Rim. Mauritius also benefits from no trade barriers and enjoys preferential market access to several export destination through a wide network of trade agreements namely with the European Union and the USA.
Finally, Mauritius has an independent judiciary and a very well-established rule of law. Its hybrid legal system has also played a significant role in promoting it as an internationally recognised financial hub. Indeed, Mauritius’ legal framework thrives from its complexity and uniqueness as it combines codified French laws inherited from the French administration (1715-1810) which includes Napoleonian Civil Code on one hand and the Common Law of England and Wales, legacy of the British occupation (1810 -1968) on the other, along with local jurisprudence. Mauritius’ judiciary is composed of the Supreme Court which hears appeals from lower courts decisions. However, the highest court of appeal is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in the UK who is competent to hear appeals of the Supreme Court’s decisions.