Economy of Mauritius

The economy of Mauritius refers to the economic activity of the island nation of Mauritius.

Economy of Mauritius
Port Louis harbour, Mauritius from the mountain Le Pouce
The Capital Port Louis
CurrencyMauritian rupee (MUR)
1 July – 30 June
Trade organisations
GDPIncrease $14.277 billion (nominal, 2018)[1]
Increase $29.994 billion (PPP, 2018)[1]
GDP rank126th (nominal, 2018)
129th (PPP, 2018)
GDP growth
3.8% (2016) 3.9% (2017)
3.9% (2018e) 4.0% (2019f) [2]
GDP per capita
Increase $11,280 (nominal, 2018 est.)[1]
Increase $23,699 (PPP, 2018 est.)[1]
GDP per capita rank
61st (nominal, 2018)
58th (PPP, 2018)
GDP by sector
agriculture: 4%
industry: 21.8%
services: 74.1% (2017 est.)[3]
3.231% (2018)[1]
Population below poverty line
8% (2006 est.)[3]
35.8 medium (2012)[4]
Labour force
633,900 (2017 est.)[1]
Labour force by occupation
agriculture: 8%
industry: 29.8%
services: 62.2% (2014 est.)[3]
UnemploymentPositive decrease 7.1% (2017 est.)[3]
Main industries
food processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing, mining, chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, nonelectrical machinery, tourism
Increase 20th (2019)[5]
ExportsIncrease $2.36 billion (2017 est.)[3]
Export goods
clothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers, molasses, fish, primates (for research)
Main export partners
 France 16.7%
 United States 12.5%
 United Kingdom 12%
 South Africa 9%
 Madagascar 6.7%
 Italy 6.6%
 Spain 5.2% (2017)[3]
ImportsIncrease $4.986 billion (2017 est.)[3]
Import goods
manufactured goods, capital equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Main import partners
 India 17.9%
 China 15.7%
 France 11.1%
 South Africa 9.7% (2017)[3]
FDI stock
Steady NA[3]
Steady Abroad: NA[3]
Decrease -$875 million (2017 est.)[3]
Negative increase $19.99 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[3]
Public finances
Positive decrease 64% of GDP (2017 est.)[3]
-0.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)[3]
Revenues2.994 billion (2017 est.)[3]
Expenses3.038 billion (2017 est.)[3]
Economic aid$42 million (1997)
Foreign reserves
Increase $5.984 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[3]
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.


African working in the salt marshes
Working in the salt marshes.

In 1961, Professor James Meade painted a bleak picture of the economic prospects of Mauritius, which then had a population of 650,000. All the disadvantages associated with smallness of island states weighed heavily in his conviction that Mauritius was caught in a Malthusian trap and, therefore, if economic progress could at all be achieved, it would be to a very limited extent. Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, ICT and tourist sectors. For most of the period, annual growth has been in the order of 4% to 4%. This compares very favourably with other sub-Saharan African countries and is largely due to sustained progress in economic conditions; between 1977 and 2008, growth averaged 4.6% compared with a 2.9% average in sub-Saharan Africa.[6] Also important is that it has achieved what few fast growing economies achieve, a more equitable income distribution and inequality (as measured by the Gini coefficient) fell from 45.7 to 38.9 between 1980 and 2006.[6] This remarkable achievement has been reflected in increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much-improved infrastructure. Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 25% of export earnings. The government's development strategy centers on expanding local financial institutions and building a domestic information telecommunications industry. Mauritius has attracted more than 9,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India and South Africa, and investment in the banking sector alone has reached over $1 billion. Mauritius, with its strong textile sector, has been well poised to take advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Mauritius has attracted US$10.98 billion in Foreign direct investment inflows. Top sectors attracting FDI inflows from Mauritius (from January 2000 to December, 2005) are electrical equipment, telecommunications, fuels, cement and gypsum products and services sector (financial and non-financial).

With a well-developed legal and commercial infrastructure and a tradition of entrepreneurship and representative government, Mauritius is one of the developing world’s most successful democracies. The economy has shown a considerable degree of resilience, and an environment already conducive to dynamic entrepreneurial activity has moved further toward economic freedom. The island’s institutional advantages are noticeable. A transparent and well-defined investment code and legal system have made the foreign investment climate in Mauritius one of the best in the region. Taxation is competitive and efficient. The economy is increasingly diversified, with significant private-sector activity in sugar, tourism, economic processing zones, and financial services, particularly in offshore enterprises. The government is trying to modernize the sugar and textile industries, which in the past were overly dependent on trade preferences, while promoting diversification into such areas as information and communications technology, financial and business services, seafood processing and exports, and free trade zones. Agriculture and industry have become less important to the economy, and services, especially tourism, accounted for over 72 percent of GDP. The government still owns utilities and controls imports of rice, flour, petroleum products, and cement.

Policies for success

Recent reports on progress on the Millennium Development Goals by the Overseas Development Institute indicated four key reasons for economic success.[6]

  1. Heterodox liberalisation and diversification
  2. Concerted strategy of nation building
  3. Strong and inclusive institutions
  4. High levels of equitable public investment

Heterodox liberalisation and diversification

Mauritius treemap
Graphical depiction of Mauritius's product exports in 28 color-coded categories.

Mauritius has followed a pragmatic development strategy in which liberalisation process was sequenced and tailored to its competitive advantages and weaknesses.[6] The export-orientated approach has encouraged liberalisation supported by strong state involvement as a facilitator (of the enabling environment for the private sector); as operator (to encourage competition); and as regulator (to protect the economy as well as vulnerable groups and sectors from shocks).[6] Strategies were evidence-based and adapted according to results.[6] There has been consistency and stability, regardless of which political party is in power.[6]

Liberalisation occurred in phases that were initiated to build on advantages the economy enjoyed on the international market.[6]

  • 1970s: Mauritius profited from sugar rents, established an export processing zone EPZ and successfully attracted capital and foreign investment in manufacturing.
  • 1980s–1990s: EPZ expanded and led to a significant increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) and tourism. Preferential access to sugar and clothing markets amounted to 7% of GDP in the 1980s and 4.5% in the 1990s, capital and current accounts were liberalised, contributing to an investment and employment boom and the high inflow of FDI brought with it managerial skills.
  • 1990s–2010: Further diversification, liberalisation and investment.

Concerted strategy of nation building

A concerted strategy of nation building since Independence created the foundations for sustained growth.[6] Partnerships across ethnic groups allowed economic redistribution to be negotiated and the resulting better balance of economic and political power allowed strong and independent institutions.[6] The emerging political system encouraged a consultative approach to policy formation that allowed strategies for growth to be continued regardless of changes in the parties in power.[6]

Strong and inclusive institutions

Strong institutions are critical in ensuring country’s competitiveness, economic resilience and stability.[6] They have supported development strategies and ensured that export earnings are reinvested in strategic and productive sectors. In the financial sector they have built a regulated and well-capitalised banking and financial system that protected it from toxic assets prior to the 2008 global financial crisis.[6]

Corruption laws

In 2002, the government adopted the Prevention of Corruption Act, which led to the setting up of an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) a few months later. The ICAC has the power to detect and investigate corruption and money-laundering offenses and can also confiscate the proceeds of corruption and money laundering. Corruption is not seen as an obstacle to foreign direct investment. Mauritius ranks 45th out of 168 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2015. Mauritius is one of Africa’s least corrupt countries.

High levels of equitable public investment

Mauritius has a strong human capital foundation developed through consistent and equitable investment in human development.[6] This enabled Mauritius to exploit advantages, learn from expertise brought in through FDI and maintain competitiveness in a fast evolving international market.[6] Education and health services are free and have been expanded in recent years, in order to create further employment opportunities and ensuring inclusive growth. The educated and adaptable workforce were essential elements of 1980s export-orientated growth.[6] Around 90% of entrepreneurs in the export processing zone (EPZ) and in the manufacturing sector were Mauritian nationals, businesspeople had the human capital, education and knowledge needed to exploit market opportunities.[6] According to the Government of Dubai, the general outlook for the manufacturing sector is positive, as the country offers many opportunities to entrepreneurs across the various value chains but insufficient skilled labour and limited research and development will remain impediments to potentially higher growth in this sector.[7]

Financial services

Mauritius provides an environment for banks, insurance and reinsurance companies, captive insurance managers, trading companies, ship owners or managers, fund managers and professionals to conduct their international business. The economic success achieved in the 1980s engendered the rapid growth of the financial services sector in Mauritius. The following types of offshore activities can be conducted in Mauritius:

  • Offshore Banking
  • Offshore Insurance
  • Offshore Funds Management
  • International Financial Services
  • Operational Headquarters
  • International Consultancy Services
  • Shipping and Ship Management
  • Aircraft Financing and Leasing
  • International Licensing and Franchising
  • International Data Processing and Information Technology Services
  • Offshore Pension Funds
  • International Trading
  • International Assets Management

Information and communication technology

Since 2002, Mauritius has invested heavily into the development of an hub in information and communication technology (ICT). The contribution of the ICT sector accounts for 5.7% of the GDP.[8] The ICT Sector employs 15,390 people.[9] In 2016, two students from Mauritius became finalists in Google Code-in.[10] In 2017, Mauritius got its first grand prize winner.[11] In 2012, Mauritius participated for the first time in Google Summer of Code.[12] In 2018, the team from Mauritius led three tracks during the Internet Engineering Task Force Hackathon in Bangkok.[13][14]

Macroeconomic statistics

Name Source Year Notes Ref
International Monetary Fund 2012 GDP (PPP) is $20.200 billion [1]
World Bank 2012 GDP (PPP) is $19,245,631,329 [2]
The World Factbook 2012 GDP (PPP) is $20,950,000,000 [4]
GDP (PPP) per capita
International Monetary Fund 2012 GDP (PPP) per capita is $15,591.974 [5]
World Bank 2012 GDP (PPP) per capita is $14,902 [6]
The World Factbook 2013 GDP (PPP) per capita is $16,100 [7]
GDP (PPP) per person employed
World Bank 1990-2010 [8]
The World Factbook 2012 [9]
GDP (nominal)
United Nations 2012 GDP (nominal) is $10,086,649,093 [10]
International Monetary Fund 2013 GDP (nominal) is US$11.930 billion [11]
World Bank 2012 GDP (nominal) is $10,486,037,634 [12]
The World Factbook 2013 GDP (nominal) is $11.9 billion [14]
GDP (nominal) per capita
United Nations 2012 [15]
International Monetary Fund 2013 GDP (nominal) per capita is US$9,159.681 [16]
World Bank 2012 [17]
The World Factbook 2013 [18]
Gross national income (Atlas method) World Bank 2012 Gross national income is US$11,070 million [19]
GNI per capita (Atlas method and PPP) World Bank 2012 Average national income (PPP) of US$8,570 per person/Year [20]

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

Distribution of family income – Gini index: 39 (2006 estimate)

Agriculture – products: sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses; cattle, goats; fish

Industrial production growth rate: 8% (2000 estimate)

Electricity – production: 1,836 GWh (2002)

Electricity – consumption: 1,707 GWh (2002)

Oil – consumption: 21,000 bbl/d (3,300 m3/d) (2003 estimate)
21,000 bbl/d (3,300 m3/d) (2001 estimate)

Current account balance: $1,339 million (2011 estimate)
$799.4 million (2010 estimate)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $2,797 billion (2012 estimate)
$2,601 billion (2010 estimate)

2013 Index of Economic Freedom rank = 8th

Exchange rates: Mauritian rupees per US dollar – 30.12 (26 March 2014), 30.99 (1 February 2010), 32.86 (2006), 29.14 (2005), 27.50 (2004), 27.90 (2003), 29.96 (2002), 29.13 (2001)

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d e f "World Economic Outlook Database, April 2019". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  2. ^ "January 2019 Global Economic Prospects -- Darkening Skies p. 112" (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "The World Factbook". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  4. ^ "GINI index (World Bank estimate)". World Bank. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Ease of Doing Business in Mauritius". Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Milo Vandemoortele and Kate Bird 2010. Progress in economic conditions in Mauritius: Success against the odds. London: Overseas Development Institute
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Statistics Mauritius – ICT Statistics Year 2016". Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  9. ^ "Statistics Mauritius – ICT Statistics Year 2016". Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  10. ^ "Google Code-in: Two Mauritian students among the finalists". Le Defi Media Group (in French). Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  11. ^ "Informatique : un jeune Mauricien remporte un concours organisé par Google". Le Defi Media Group (in French). Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  12. ^ "Google Summer of Code 2012 by the Numbers: Part 1 of 2". Google Open Source Blog. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  13. ^ "What's that? SSH can still use RC4? Not for much longer, promise". Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  14. ^ IETF - Internet Engineering Task Force (2018-11-04), IETF Hackathon Presentations, retrieved 2018-11-13

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website

External links

AfrAsia Bank Limited

AfrAsia Bank Limited, commonly known as AfrAsia Bank, is authorized and regulated by the Bank of Mauritius. Headquartered in the Mauritius International Financial Centre with representative office in South Africa, AfrAsia specialises in banking that builds bridges between Africa, Asia and the World.

Bank of Mauritius

The Bank of Mauritius is the central bank of the Republic of Mauritius. It was established in September 1967 as the central bank of Mauritius. It was modelled on the Bank of England and was, in effect, set up with the assistance of senior officers of the Bank of England.

Amongst its responsibilities is the issuance of the Mauritian currency, the Mauritian rupee.

Board of Investment (Mauritius)

The Board of Investment (BOI) is the national investment promotion agency of the Government of Mauritius with the mandate to promote and facilitate investment in the country. It is the first point of contact for investors exploring business opportunities in Mauritius and the region. BOI also assists investors in the growth, nurturing and diversification of their business.

With a view to facilitating the implementation of investment projects and, more importantly, to continuously improve the investment and business climate, BOI works in close collaboration with Government bodies, institutions and private sector companies. Mauritius capitalized on the sale of strategic coastal land to foreigners through the Property Development Scheme programmes of the Board of Investment.BOI has an important role of policy advocacy to continuously improve the competitiveness of Mauritius.

The Board of Investment accompanies investors looking at opportunities in Africa.

The Board of Investment (BOI) has been awarded the prestigious ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Certification on 3 December 2013.

Financial Services Commission (Mauritius)

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) (French: Commission des Services Financiers de Maurice) is a regulatory authority responsible for the regulation, supervision and inspection of all financial services other than banking institutions and global business in Mauritius. The FSC operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance within an internationally recognised legal framework which includes the FSC Act, the Securities Act and the Insurance Act, it licenses, regulates, monitors and supervises the conduct of business activities in the non-banking financial services sector.

Geology of Mauritius

The geology of Mauritius and Rodrigues is comparatively recent. The oldest rocks on Mauritius are only 10 million years old and 1.54 million years old on Rodrigues Island. The mafic basalts of the two islands formed in relation to the hotspot that generated the Deccan Traps and coral reefs built on the volcanoes forming non-volcanic sediments.

Integrated Resort Scheme

The Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) is an initiative of the Government of Mauritius in collaboration with the Board of Investment of Mauritius. This program is designed to facilitate the acquisition of resort and residential property by non-citizens on the island.

Until recent changes to legislation foreigners were not permitted to purchase property in Mauritius. In 2002 the Mauritian Government took the decision to open the market to foreign buyers on a restricted basis through this project named as IRS, which permits the construction and sale of luxury villas to foreigners in particular locations. To date eight projects have been successfully completed prior to the International Financial Crisis in 2008; Tamarina, Anahita, Villa Valriche, ClubMed Albion and Belle Rive. Three developments were since completed in 2013; La Balise, Matala and Azuri. The programme has however been plagued by a catalogue of false starts and a large number of fictional projects that were never delivered to their potential owners (Corniche Bay, River Club, Mon Choisy, Beau Sejour etc.). This legacy of failure appears to have been overcome and the current crop of developers have successfully negotiated the complexities inherent in the failures of these earlier developments. As a result of these failures the most recent projects to complete have taken a more innovative approach to the uses found within the IRS estates and innovated to establish market position.

Through the IRS, international buyers can become Mauritian residents once they acquire a luxury property on the island. The villa owner and his family are able to reside in Mauritius as long as he holds the property.

The IRS are often accompanied by extensive and high-class leisure and recreational facilities such as golf courses, marinas or wellness centres.

Laws and regulations for electronic payment in Mauritius

Laws and Regulations for Electronic Payment in Mauritius

The Electronic Transactions Act (ETA).

List of companies 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. Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculture-based economy to a middle-income diversified economy. The economy is based on tourism, textiles, sugar, and financial services. In recent years, information and communication technology, seafood, hospitality and property development, healthcare, renewable energy, and education and training have emerged as important sectors, attracting substantial investment from both local and foreign investors.

Mauritian dollar

In 1820, in response to a request from the British colony of Mauritius, the imperial government in London struck silver coins in the denominations of ​1⁄4, ​1⁄8, and ​1⁄16 dollars. The dollar unit in question was equivalent to the Spanish dollar and these fractional coins were known as 'Anchor Dollars' because of the anchor that appeared on them. More of these anchor dollars were struck in 1822 and not only for Mauritius but also for the British West Indies. In addition to this, a ​1⁄2 dollar anchor coin was struck for Mauritius. A year or two later, copper dollar fractions were struck for Mauritius, the British West Indies, and Sierra Leone.

The dollar was the currency of Mauritius until 1877. Initially, it was made up of Spanish dollars, with paper money and new coins being issued in the 1820s (see Anchor coinage). The dollar was initially pegged at a value of 2 Indian rupees, then at 4 shillings sterling. In 1822, coins for 25 and 50 sous were issued due to the continued use of the French colonial livre.

The dollar circulated alongside sterling and the Indian rupee. An unofficial exchange rate of 2 rupees to the dollar was used, although this overvalued the rupee for a time.

In 1877, the Mauritian rupee was introduced. It replaced the dollar at a rate of 2 rupees = 1 dollar.

Mauritian rupee

The rupee (sign: ₨; ISO 4217 code: MUR; pronounced [ʁupi]) is the currency of Mauritius. One rupee is subdivided into 100 cents. Several other currencies are also called rupee.

Mineral industry of Mauritius

The mineral industry of Mauritius is small; the country does not play a significant role in the world’s production or consumption of minerals. As of 2006, Mauritius produced basalt for construction, fertilizers, lime from coral, semi-manufactured steel, and solar-evaporated sea salt. Local companies also cut imported diamond.As of 2006, imports of mineral fuels accounted for 17% of total imports; iron and steel, 2%; and cement, 1%. In March 2006, concerns about import reliance and rising petroleum prices led the Government to sign an agreement with ONGC Videsh Ltd. of India for offshore petroleum exploration.In 2006, the production of sand increased by 52%; semi-manufactured steel, by 2%; and fertilizers, by 1%. The reported value of sand production amounted to about $1 million.Aggregates are produced by Gamma Civic Ltd. and United Basalt Products Ltd.; fertilizers, by Mauritius Chemical and Fertilizer Industry; salt, by Mont Calme; and semi-manufactured steel, by Consolidated Steel. These companies are privately owned.

Outline of Mauritius

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Mauritius:

Mauritius – sovereign island nation located in the southwest Indian Ocean about 900 kilometres (560 mi) east of Madagascar. In addition to the Island of Mauritius, the republic includes the islands of St. Brandon, Rodrigues and the Agalega Islands. Mauritius is part of the Mascarene Islands, with the French island of Réunion 200 km (125 mi) to the southwest and the island of Rodrigues 570 km to the northeast.

Phoenix Beverages

Phoenix Beverages is the largest brewery in Mauritius. Their Phoenix Beer (lager) is widely distributed on the island. The company also has connections with the Guinness Brewery and is listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.

Rail transport in Mauritius

There are as of 2015, no operational railways in Mauritius. A system existed from the 1860s to the 1960s. In 1956 the Mauritius Government Railways had 146 km (91 mi) of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) (standard gauge) track and 47 locomotives.With increasing road traffic congestion, plans surfaced in 2009 for a metro system.

Revenue stamps of Mauritius

Mauritius issued revenue stamps from 1 March 1869 to 1904. There were various types of fiscal stamps for different uses.

Rogers Group

Rogers Group is a Mauritius-based listed international services and investment company with specialist expertise within four markets: FinTech, Hospitality, Logistics and Property. Operations within each served market are organised into sectors with 4,545 people, 52 offices across 12 different territories.

State Bank of Mauritius

State Bank of Mauritius (SBM), is a bank in Mauritius. It is licensed as a commercial bank by the Bank of Mauritius, the national banking regulator.SBM is the second-largest bank in Mauritius with a market share of about 25% of domestic banking assets. As of June 2011, its total asset valuation was approximately US$3.34 billion (MUR:95.7 billion), with shareholders' equity of about US$557.1 million (MUR:16 billion).SBM, together with its subsidiary businesses in Kenya, Mauritius, Madagascar and India, is known as SBM Group. The stock of the group is listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius and is owned by nearly 17,000 domestic and International shareholders. SBM has more than 1,200 employees and services over 340,000 customers through its network of 48 service units and counters in Mauritius, India and Madagascar.

Stock Exchange of Mauritius

The Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) (French: Bourse de Maurice; Hindi: मॉरीशस के स्टॉक एक्सचेंज; Chinese: 毛里求斯聯合交易所) is an organization responsible for the operation of Mauritius's primary stock exchange located at Port Louis. The SEM operates two markets: the Official Market and the Development & Enterprise Market (DEM). There are 40 companies listed on the Official Market representing a Market Capitalization of nearly US$5.3 billion, the DEM presently has 48 companies listed with a market capitalisation of nearly US$1.5 billion as at 31 July 2012. SEM is one of the leading Exchanges in Africa and a member of the World Federation of Exchanges.

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