Smart Mauritius - Building Intelligent, Innovative and Sustainable Cities of the future
The Smart City Scheme is an ambitious economic development programme aimed at consolidating the Mauritian international business and financial hub by creating ideal conditions for working, living and spurring investment through the development of smart cities across the island.
The development of smart cities in Mauritius is opening up a plethora of investment opportunities.
The smart city project is a new initiative to stimulate innovative scientific and technological activities, provide technology-driven facilities to the business community and create a vibrant city lifestyle.
The Government of Mauritius has set up the Smart City Scheme to provide an enabling framework and a package of attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to investors for the development of smart cities across the island.
The smart-city concept is about providing investors, nationals and foreigners, with options for living in sustainable, convenient and enjoyable urban surroundings.
These new cities will be built around the work-live-play lifestyle in a vibrant environment with technology and innovation at their core.
The concept paves the way for investors to develop and invest in:
- a mix of commercial, leisure and residential uses that, as a whole, achieves physical and functional integration and creates a pedestrian-oriented urban environment
- a combination of office, light industrial, education, medical and tourism clusters
- high technology and innovation cluster
- infrastructure to service green-field sites with roads and inspiring landscaping
- clean technology aimed at carbon and waste reduction, efficient transport
- low-energy-consumption buildings
- digital solutions, urban sensing technologies and big data analytics
- energy production and water management and utilities
- high-end residential estate
- real estate investment management
The Smart City Scheme provides an enabling framework and a package of attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to investors for the development of smart cities across the island.
Incentives for developing and investing in a project under the Smart City Scheme.
A company investing in the development of a smart city and/or its components is exempted from payment of:
- Income Tax for a period of 8 years from the issue of the SCS Certificate provided that the income is derived from an activity pertaining to the development and sale, rental or management of immovable property other than an activity in respect of the supply of goods and services.
- Value Added Tax paid on capital goods (building, structure, plant, machinery or equipment).
- Customs duty on import or purchase of any dutiable goods, other than furniture, to be used in infrastructure works and construction of building within the Scheme
- Land Transfer Tax and Registration Duty on transfer of land to a SPV provided that the transferor holds shares in the SPV equivalent to at least the value of the land transferred
- Land Conversion Tax in respect of the land area earmarked for the development of non-residential components (office and business parks, ICT and innovation clusters, touristic, leisure and entertainment facilities including hotels and golf courses, renewable energy and green initiatives)
- Morcellement Tax for the subdivision of land.
Other tax incentives
- First-time Mauritian buyers and buyers under the Mauritian Diaspora Scheme acquiring a residential unit will be exempted from registration duty
- Full recovery of VAT in terms of input tax allowable in terms of capital goods (building structure), plant, machinery and equipment
- Accelerated annual allowance granted at a rate of 50% of the costs in respect of capital expenditure incurred by any company operating within the Smart City Scheme on energy-efficient equipment and green technology.
A smart city will be developed over an area exceeding 21.105 hectares (50 arpents). Foreign companies can acquire land under the Smart City Scheme to develop projects and their key components
- Any person any entity including foreign companies and trusts can acquire residential units in a smart city
- Any non-citizen acquiring a residential unit above USD 500,000 under the scheme is eligible to a residence permit for himself and his family
- No restriction on rental or resale of residential units
- Possibility for a retired person to acquire life rights under the Smart City Scheme.
- A non-citizen having held a residence permit for a minimum period of 2 years and having made an investment over USD 5 million in Mauritius may apply for Mauritian citizenship.
Sale of serviced land to third-party developers
- The master developer may sell serviced land to another company to develop a component of a smart city project.
Smart Cities: a plethora of investment opportunities
Access to real-time information through smart phones and mobile infrastructure will transform and enhance people’s way of life and support the development of a wide spectrum of products and services.
Opportunities exist for the development of digital solutions, ubiquitous urban sensing technologies, big data analytics for the efficient functioning and real-time management of smart cities.
ICT companies will have to provide and deploy solutions to service and support residents and users with traffic control systems, optimized route planning based on real-time information, free-parking space detection, security, healthcare, improved and cost-effective power supply and management, infrastructure and resource management, amongst others.
Smart grids will create efficiency within the energy infrastructure, while smart transport systems will encourage effective resource management and reduce carbon emissions. Investments are encouraged in green energy production and distribution systems, smart metering, waste reduction and management as well as rain water harvesting systems.
Investment opportunities for the development of the following components, all in line with the work-live-play concept, exist within smart city projects.
- Office blocks
- Industrial parks
- SME Parks
- Meeting, exhibition and convention centres
- Research and innovation centres
- Renewable energy production
- Residential areas, comprising :
- High-end luxury villas, apartments and duplexes that can be acquired by both non-citizens and locals.
- Units for retirees that can be acquired under ‘Life Rights’
- Affordable housing units
- Educational institutions
- Medical facilities
- Shopping malls
- Amusement parks and recreational facilities
- Hotels and restaurants
- Tourist attractions