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Newsletter December 2016 - Retrospect 2016 and Prospects 2017

Dear Valued Investors,

We are getting ready to turn the page on another frenetic year with its surprises and shocks, especially regarding the international front. 

If 2016 has taught us any new lesson, it is that normalcy, predictability and conventional forecast are turning out to be defiantly anachronistic concepts in this day and age. 

In addition, subdued demand in advanced economies has equally dampened expectations of a much awaited progress in emerging ones, resulting in an underwhelming expansion in global output. 

Indeed, the prevalent global economic situation raises more questions, with no glimmer of any satisfactory answer, at the dawn of the New Year.

However, in spite of the maelstrom that has swept across world economies, Mauritius has been making feeble but steady progress. The measures implemented over the last few months have contributed to making our economy more flexible while improving our capacity for greater efficiency and more satisfactory results. 

A case in point is that a comparative analysis of the figures of the last five years shows that foreign direct investment inflows for the 1st semester of 2016 are the highest on record for a single semester. Concomitantly, total FDI is expected to be around Rs 14 billion by the end of the year. This is a confirmation of foreign investors’ positive perception of our investment platform. 

Convergys, Creditfix and Allianz in ICT, Mara Delta in property development, Bank of China in the financial services sector with Empak and Optsun in manufacturing are only some of the global players that have chosen Mauritius for their strategic investments. 

Furthermore, BOI’s efforts deployed in the thick of daily scuffles have played a role in re-charting the country’s development path, reversing a downward spiral following the implementation of new measures announced in the 2016/17 Budget. 

Today, BOI is steering the operationalisation of the e-licensing platform. The set-back in the doing business report where we regressed to the 49th position has indeed been a brutal wake-up call. There is today an urgent need to address counterproductive elements in our way of doing business as well as in our business environment. 

Now, the expressed endeavour to stop our decline in the Doing Business index and turn the situation around calls for a mobilisation at all levels across government, public and private institutions. The way forward is to smartly harness energies by resolutely jettisoning all outdated practices while instilling a new mindset aligned with the transformational changes happening globally in the digital economy and the Fintech architecture. 

This move will be a welcome relief after the wave that sent tremors rocking our national pride. It is perceived as one powerful antidote to obtain highly positive results in the very short term. 

Consequently, the creation of the e-licensing platform is now one key project. Several committees have, therefore, been set up to rationalise processes that cut across various departments and ministries with a view to eliminating administrative bottlenecks through the leveraging of technology. 

Precisely, to minimise lead time for the setting-up of innovative projects, BOI will be issuing Regulatory Sandbox Licenses where the regulatory framework is not adequate. 

This is expected to act as a game changer. It will accelerate the materialisation of innovative startups and generate the critical mass that will help position Mauritius as a centre of innovation. 

On the other hand, BOI has opened an office in Johannesburg to broaden its network and extend its regional footprint pursuant to the Africa strategy. 

To sum up, a condensed overview of some of our landmark achievements during 2016 will allow our readers and partners to gauge the current year’s scope of work. The coming year will hopefully see the fulfillment of promises with the implementation of a number of projects. 

We would like to seize the opportunity to express our deepest appreciation for your constant support in our varied endeavors during the year, and we hope that 2017 will swing wide open the doors for greater collaboration. This special issue of our newsletter also gives a glimpse of the key objectives for 2017. 

Finally, on behalf of the Board of Directors and BOI’s staff, I thank you for your faithful support and trust, and wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017. May all your projects come to fruition! 

Ken Poonoosamy
Managing Director

 

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