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Newsletter December 2015 - Retrospect 2015 and Prospects 2016

Dear Valued Investors,

As we bid farewell to what has been yet again a whirlwind year on the economic front, it is fitting that we end with a reflection on BOI’s achievements in terms of investment promotion, facilitation and contribution to policies.

The optimism at the start of the year became increasingly subdued worldwide. The gradual appreciation of the dollar and the fall in commodity prices stymied production and growth, especially in developing economies. Growth in advanced economies remained feeble since reforms put in place are only now starting to trigger activity.

That conjecture has perceptibly affected the development of the Mauritian economy, with our dependence on trade and over reliance on products to particular markets to boost economic activity.

Nevertheless, comfort should be taken in that 2015 has been the year where resolute measures have been taken to act upon our structural deficiencies. The Economic Mission Statement reinforced the strategy set in the Budget Speech, and BOI has fully assumed its legitimate role toward achieving our national development goals.

Indeed, several actions have been initiated to propel Mauritius towards higher, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The Smart City Scheme has been launched, and a redesigning of the economic landscape is well under way. Smart Cities will cater for future generations’ needs in terms of jobs and high quality of life.

Complementing infrastructure such as the expansion of the seaport will follow. The process of hiring the very best to ensure that we get high quality service delivery has been launched. Soon Mauritius will once again be held up as an archetype for developing countries.

We have had the foresight to nurture close diplomatic and economic ties with mainland Africa well before the continent started to attract world attention. Our Africa Centre of Excellence has over the last year worked in close collaboration with the authorities to expand our frontiers deep into Africa, with negotiations already at an advanced stage for the setting up of Special Economic Zones in Ghana, Madagascar and Senegal.

While 2015 has been a year which has absorbed our energies in tilling and seeds sowing, 2016 and beyond will be the years of first fruits. Results are already palpable in certain areas, particularly in tourism. Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines are already servicing the economy and the impact on the number of tourist arrivals has been significant.

BOI will further bridge the distance between Mauritius and its main markets, as we proceed with the opening of offices in key cities aound the globe. At the same time, the Mauritian Diaspora Scheme will trigger a reversal of brain drain, bringing back talents and skills of those who are committed to the construction of a bright and sustainable Mauritian future.

The economy is opening up to foreigners who are willing to contribute to our country’s development as well. During the 2nd Joint Public-Private Sector Steering Committee, the Right Honourable Prime Minister was receptive to the crucial role that foreign expertise will play in the country’s new development paradigm. Along with their know-how, these professionals can help palliate the small-market-size syndrome that has been limiting our growth.

On this note, let me express my appreciation and thanks for your continued collaboration and support during this past year. The Board of Investment wishes you a Merry Christmas and an exceptional year in 2016.

Ken Poonoosamy
Managing Director

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