Country GuideMauritius

From Global Connections

Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into Mauritius reached USD441 million in 2014, full year forecasts predicted inflows of USD197 million for 2015.

Mauritius ranked 32nd in the World Bank's 2016 Doing Business rankings, down one place from 31st in the year prior. Despite a slight fall in its overall position, the rankings recognised reforms that Mauritius had enacted to make doing business easier. This included reducing the time required for dealing with construction permits through the hiring of a more efficient subcontractor to establish sewerage connections.

Key facts about starting a business in Mauritius:

  • It takes five procedures and approximately six days to start a new business in Mauritius; this process is detailed in the Doing Business in chapter
  • It takes, on average, five working days to process the application for an Occupation Permit; employment regulations are discussed in detail in the Labour chapter
  • It takes approximately 21 days and costs MUR65,530 to obtain a building and land use permit
  • Companies operating in Mauritius spend, on average, 152 hours per year paying taxes; the tax regime is outlined in the Tax chapter
  • All companies are required to prepare financial statements in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards; further details can be found in the Audit chapter
  • Companies wishing to list on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius must, amongst other requirements, have an expected market capitalisation of not less than MUR20 million; capital markets are discussed further in the Finance chapter

Mauritius' attractiveness as an investment location can be attributed to a number of factors, including its political stability and liberal investment policy. Nevertheless, in order to make an informed decision, it is critical to understand the nuances of any local regime. The manner in which people conduct business in Mauritius may differ from the home countries of investors. Furthermore, variations on these distinctions may exist depending on the industry in which a company operates.

Mauritius does not have an official language. Mauritian Créole is spoken by the majority of the population and is the predominant language used in informal settings. However, French and English are predominately used for educational and commercial purposes.

Business attire is conservative, although more casual attire may be accepted in certain industries. Punctuality is expected when doing business in Mauritius and appointments should be made several days in advance. A handshake is the typical business greeting and business cards will usually be exchanged at the end of a meeting.

Those looking to establish a business in Mauritius may look across Africa for alternative options. However, Mauritius can be differentiated on the following factors:

  • Mauritius remains sub-Saharan Africa’s most competitive economy, according to the WE Forum Global Competitiveness Report
  • The economy has experienced steady growth of above three per cent since 2010 and this is expected to continue into the future
  • Mauritius has signed 11 trade agreements, on a multilateral, regional and bilateral basis; this offers preferential market access to countries in Africa, Europe and the USA; trade policy is discussed further in the Trade chapter
  • Mauritius has a flexible, bilingual (English/French) and skilled workforce
  • Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport offers more than 90 international flights a week; further details can be found in the Infrastructure chapter

Mauritius' attractiveness as a foreign direct investment location can be attributed to many factors. Nevertheless, foreign investors must remain aware of some of the challenges they can encounter when doing business in Mauritius. As acknowledged by the Global Competitiveness Report, as the country continues to move up the development ladder, more needs to be done to enable it to become a knowledge-driven economy. The country needs to address a scarcity of skilled human resources. Improvements will be required in the quality of the education and the country's ability to absorb new technologies.

This guide has been developed to provide businesses with an overview of Mauritius, its legal regime, start-up and market entry considerations, tax and customs requirements and a general summary of the factors that may affect the decision to do business in Mauritius. However, the information contained in this document is generic in nature and you should not act or rely on it without obtaining specific professional advice.

Please note that the Country Guides may only be available in English.

Useful Links

1 Corporate and Business Registration Department
2 Mauritius Revenue Authority
3 Passport and Immigration Office
4 Data Protection Office
5 Industrial Property Office
6 Board of Investment
7 Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training

 

Sources

1 FDI Statistics
2 Doing Business Rankings
3 Occupation Permit processing time
4 Global Competitiveness Report
5 Economic Growth

 

Download Country Guide - Mauritius (2.59MB, PDF)

Disclaimer

This document is issued by by HSBC Bank (Mauritius) Limited (the Bank). This guide is a joint project with Grant Thornton. It is not intended as an offer or solicitation for business to anyone in any jurisdiction. It is not intended for distribution to anyone located in or resident in jurisdictions which restrict the distribution of this document. It shall not be copied, reproduced, transmitted or further distributed by any recipient. The information contained in this document is of a general nature only. It is not meant to be comprehensive and does not constitute financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this document without obtaining specific professional advice. Whilst every care has been taken in preparing this document, the Bank and Grant Thornton makes no guarantee, representation or warranty (express or implied) as to its accuracy or completeness, and under no circumstances will the Bank or Grant Thornton be liable for any loss caused by reliance on any opinion or statement made in this document. Except as specifically indicated, the expressions of opinion are those of the Bank and are subject to change without notice. The materials contained in this document were assembled in January 2016 and were based on the law enforceable and information available at that time.

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HSBC retains all responsibility for the translation of the content of this guide. In the event of any discrepancy or inconsistency between the English and translated versions of this Guide, the English version shall apply and prevail.

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