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August 2012: The Ocean Economy - Limitless Opportunities

Dear Valued investors,Ken En

In line with the vision of the Government to further diversify our economy, the Board of Investment is promoting the development of an 'ocean industry' as a new economic pillar which presents enormous opportunities to our investors.

This edition of the newsletter features an exclusive interview of Mr. Yannick Lauri, the CEO of Sapmer, a fishing company involved in deep-sea fishing and operating in Mauritius since 2008. Sapmer has an historical presence, going back to some 65 years, in the Indian Ocean region. Their expertise and capacity may be of valuable significance for the future of our island's fishing industry.

Last year, Mauritius exported approximately USD 259 million worth of fish and fish products ranging from tuna and processed loins to the highly sought "sashimi" grade products. Future investments like Sapmer's in the fishing sector are a clear testimony of the confidence that international players place in our industry. This sector currently contributes around 1.5 % to GDP and it employs more than 12,000 people.

With a view to boosting this sector, a number of measures were announced in the last national budget in support of fisheries and aquaculture. The Ministry of Fisheries has been providing floating cages and fingerlings to fishermen's cooperatives to enhance fish farming potential in the lagoon in line with its programme to empower the professional fishing community and increase their earning capacity through sustainable fisheries. This programme along with the practice of aquaculture on a larger scale in deep water will further contribute towards food security.

To highlight the events of the past month, as part of our strategy to continuously diversify the use of our financial services platform, a comprehensive Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement was signed with Nigeria two weeks ago during the visit to Mauritius of Her Excellency Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Nigerian Finance Minister. This is our 17th DTAA with an African nation.

Also, the 8th Joint Working Group Meeting on the Mauritius-India Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) was held in Mauritius. Both sides had very cordial discussions on a number of areas where progress could be made. They reaffirmed the importance of continuing constructive dialogue to find mutually beneficial solutions to the concerns of both parties.

In the final analysis, taking into account the endeavour for economic diversification and the gradual extension of our DTAA and IPPA networks, the key priority for BOI is to attract new high-quality FDI for the furtherance of the competitiveness of the Mauritian economy.

Ken Poonoosamy

Managing Director