Mission to South Africa
‘Mauritius: Your Strategic Regional Partner’
Economic ties between Mauritius and South Africa were established decades ago. Accordingly, South Africa has been an important market for trade and investment. South Africa is a key partner for Mauritius, accounting for 14% of foreign direct investment, 7% of imports, 8% of exports and 8% of tourist arrivals in 2016.
In the light of the strong interest witnessed by the Board of Investment (BOI) during the investment promotion mission undertaken in May 2017, a market analysis was conducted by the BOI office based in South Africa and an investment promotion roadshow was organized from 17th to 20th November in Durban and Johannesburg.
The mission was led by Mr. Ken Poonoosamy, Managing Director of the Board of Investment and the delegation comprised H.E. Mr. Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory, Vice President of the Republic of Mauritius, H.E. Mr. P. V. Lutchmun, High Commissioner of the Republic of Mauritius and the Vice-President of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Marday Venkatasamy.
During his keynote address, H.E. Mr. Vyapoory encouraged the audience to consider business opportunities in niche sectors such as the ocean economy and digital economy. He made an appeal to the South African business community to be part of the Mauritius Africa Strategy by expanding their operations in the Special Economic Zones that are being set up in Africa through G2G agreements between Mauritius and selected African countries. He also stressed the role of institutions such as BOI in the creation of a business-friendly environment.
In this respect, he welcomed investments from South African businessmen while providing the assurance that their projects, once assessed by the relevant institutions, will receive the full support of the Government of the Republic of Mauritius.
On the other hand, Mr. Ken Poonoosamy emphasized the new measures announced in the 2017-2018 Budget. The country’s rank among the top twenty-five world economies in the Ease of Doing Business Index was highlighted as the fruit of the continued efforts deployed by BOI and the agency’s commitment to improve the business climate.
Mr. Poonoosamy also encouraged South African businessmen to consider listing their firms on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius by explaining the framework put in place to facilitate the process. He also highlighted that considering the importance of South Africa as key source FDI and trade partner to Mauritius, the Board of Investment has opened an office in Johannesburg to better assist South African entreprises looking at Mauritius as a destination for doing business.
The mission’s objective was to target the affluent and high net worth segments. Some 152 participants attended the events held in Durban and Johannesburg. About 70% of the attendees were decision-makers while 12 to 15% representing top management in their respective organisations.
One-to-one meetings covering a number of business activities, ranging from manufacturing to banking, were organised in Johannesburg. These leads will be included in a business plan for implementation. Going forward, Mr. Maheshwar Oodit, Investment and Trade Officer in South Africa, will follow-up on potential investment interests generated and will subsequently plan inward missions as from the first quarter of 2018.