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Mauritius Economy
 
 
 

General

Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. For most of the period, annual growth has been of the order of 5% to 6%. This has been reflected in increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality and improved infrastructure.

Estimated at $12,356 for 2009 at purchasing power parity (PPP), Mauritius has the sixth-highest GDP per capita in Africa, behind Seychelles ($19,274 at PPP), Equatorial Guinea ($16,853 at PPP), Gabon ($14,421 at PPP), Libya ($14,381 at PPP) and Botswana ($13,417 at PPP).The economy is mainly dependent on sugar cane plantations, tourism, textiles, and services, but other sectors such as seafood processing, information technology and medical tourism are rapidly developing as well. Mauritius, Libya and Seychelles are the only three African nations with a "high" Human Development Index rating.

Sugar cane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 25% of export earnings. Mauritius is a good example of a mono crop economy but since it is no more dependent only upon agriculture, using this term would not be apt. However, a record-setting drought severely damaged the sugar crop in 1999. The government's development strategy centres on foreign investment. Mauritius has attracted more than 9,000 offshore entities; many aimed at commerce in India and South Africa while investment in the banking sector alone has reached over $1 billion. Economic performance during the period from 2000 through 2004 combined strong economic growth with unemployment at 7.6% in December 2004. France is the country's biggest trading partner, has close ties with the country, and provides technical assistance in various forms.

In order to provide locals with access to imports at lower prices and attract more tourists going to Singapore and Dubai, Mauritius is gearing towards becoming a duty-free island within the next four years. Duty has been eliminated for several products and decreased for more than 1850 products including clothing, food, jewellery, photographic equipment, audio visual equipment and lighting equipment. In addition, reforms aimed at attracting new business opportunities have also been implemented. But, one of the biggest impediments is the traffic movement between the towns, which is slowing the development of Mauritius. The corporate tax has recently been reduced to 15% to encourage non resident companies to trade or invest through a permanent establishment or otherwise.

Mauritius ranks first among all countries in FDI inflows to India, with cumulative inflows amounting to $10.98 billion. The top sectors attracting FDI inflows from Mauritius between January 2000 and December 2005 were electrical equipment, telecommunications, fuels, cement and gypsum products and services sector (financial and non-financial).

Mauritius is one country that has achieved successful economic and human development with a dual-track approach to economic liberalisation, whereby poorer sections of society have participated in its economic growth. The experience of Mauritius has been used, alongside a number of other countries that have adopted a dual-track approach, to highlight the benefits to both economic growth and human development.

Overview

Economy - overview :
Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial and tourist sectors. For most of the period, annual growth has been in the order of 5% to 6%. This remarkable achievement has been reflected in more equitable income distribution, increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much-improved infrastructure. The economy rests on sugar, tourism, textiles and apparel, and financial services, and is expanding into fish processing, information and communications technology, and hospitality and property development. Sugar cane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 15% of export earnings. The government's development strategy centres on creating vertical and horizontal clusters of development in these sectors. Mauritius has attracted more than 32,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India, South Africa, and China. 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' sound economic policies and prudent banking practices helped to mitigate negative effects from the global financial crisis in 2008-09. GDP grew 3.6% in 2010 and the country continues to expand its trade and investment outreach around the globe.


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