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June 2012: The Mauritius-Africa Network

Dear Valued investors,Ken En

For the first time in its history the Board of Investment is faced with challenges surrounding an alleged scam regarding the issuance of residence permits to retired non-citizens. Our engagement in this matter is to fully support, and collaborate with, the authorities.

I wish to reassure the public, in general, and the investor community, in particular, that BOI abides by clearly established procedures for the processing of all the applications submitted to our consideration. Our organisation ensures that these same procedures are accessible and constantly communicated to one and all.

Accordingly, we make it a point to emphasise that all BOI's advisory and facilitation services are free of charge. Our April 2012 issue testifies to our communication strategy with the investors and our concern for the security of all. BOI took the pledge to adopt a rule-based approach to consolidate national integrity. We have renewed it.

With regard to our core activities, as we reach the mid-year point, it's time to reconvene to assess our progress to date, share highlights of successful activities underway and continue our effort to attract and facilitate investment projects.

Foreign investment rose by 15 percent year-on-year to Rs 1.6 billion in the first quarter of 2012 due mainly to new investment projects. This increase from the developing economies is notable, as it represents inflows in the wake of sustained efforts to attract FDI from South and East Asia.

Secondly, the organisation of the one-day conference themed “Mauritius, Your Business Passport to Africa” on 14th June 2012 at the Royal Overseas League in London has been a most positive workshop. It received the wholehearted support of the British Government.

This event has been an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the tremendous potential of Mauritius as a secure and competitive platform for re-investment into Africa. BOI has certainly created a unique forum to provide strategic information to leading investment groups as to how they can tap into growth opportunities and expand their business in Africa from our well-regulated centre.

Another piece of good news is that the next ICCA Congress will be held in Africa. Mauritius will host the ICCA Congress in 2016, having surpassed bids submitted by Hong Kong, Australia and Denmark. The conference will be an opportunity for Mauritius to strengthen its position as a unique platform for the regeneration and further development of international arbitration in Africa.

Finally, the Moody's Investor Service report could not come at a better time.  On 26th June, Mauritius's rating was upgraded. This new rating was in part triggered by  “the increased diversification of the economy into the high-value-added service sector as well as a growing conduit for foreign investment into Africa and Asia.” In this quote we sense a confirmation of BOI's strategic orientation over the past months.

Ken Poonoosamy

Managing Director