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May 2012: Mauritius: The Jewel Of Africa

Dear Valued investors,Ken En

I open this edition of our newsletter at a time when Mauritius is gearing up to achieve new heights of innovation and embrace the next wave of economic growth and development.

The setting up of an International Advisory Board (IAB) of  the Board of Investment could not be more timely.  This initiative is in line with our commitment to orient the future growth of Mauritius according to the vision of the Government.  With the support of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honourable Xavier Luc Duval, GCSK, we have been able to constitute a team of leading practitioners from USA, UK, Europe, Asia and Africa to advise us on a course to steer Mauritius towards a higher average per capita income level. 

The IAB members echo the fact that a major part of this desired transformation will come from the strategic role that Mauritius will be called upon to play as Africa achieves unprecedented levels of development.  As confirmed by the latest Regional Economic Outlook published by the IMF on Sub-Saharan Africa, the region is expected to achieve a growth rate averaging 5.4% in 2012.   The IMF further highlights the resiliency of Sub-Saharan African financial systems in the face of one of the worst shocks that has hit the global financial world. This will no doubt boost the confidence of global investors in Africa, hence increasing opportunities for Mauritius to be used as the gateway for the region.

To this end, we are committed to further strengthen business ties and improve our network with the continent.  The visits of senior ministerial delegations from Gabon and South Sudan in early May as well as the signing of an MoU with the South Sudan Investment Authority in view of promoting investment concur with our overall objective.  Furthermore, the month of May witnessed the long-awaited signature of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between Kenya and Mauritius. These bilateral agreements will further enhance our position as a tested and fully collaborative financial centre for  the region. 

It is with satisfaction that Mauritius notes the acknowledgment by the Indian Finance Minister of the robustness and efficiency of our information sharing system with India in the recently published ‘White Paper on Black Money’.  We continue to nurture our privileged partnership with India.  This is testified by the organization of the “The Global Business Leaders Series” conference on “Leadership in a Globalized World: Nurturing New Partners” by the All India Management Association (AIMA) which saw the participation of Sri Sachin Pilot, State Minister of Communications and Information Technology of India together with a senior level delegation comprising leading captains of the industry from India. 

This event has been instrumental for us to reaffirm our commitment to collaborate with India on several fronts, including finding a win-win solution for the concerns being raised by India with respect to the Indo- Mauritian Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC).  As communicated by the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development of Mauritius,   Mauritius is committed to working closely with the Indian Government. Mauritius has always shown its willingness to address concerns expressed by India.  We remain convinced that through on-going dialogue within the framework of the Joint Working Group, the interests of our two  countries will be safeguarded.

As part of our quest to continuously broaden our economic base and ensure that our manufacturing sector remains competitive, a one day workshop themed ‘Shaping Tomorrow’s Manufacturing Landscape’  was organized on 16th May.  The event regrouped stakeholders from the private and public sphere with the objective of reviewing organizational, practical and material measures necessary for a successful re-orientation of the sector and promote investments in innovative activities.

Ken Poonoosamy

Managing Director