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March 2012: Celebrating 44 years of progress ...

Ken EnDear Valued Investors,

As we celebrate the 44th anniversary of our nation’s independence, we maintain our resolve to promote Mauritius as a green and sustainable island-State, keeping its ecological stewardship at heart. Geographically found in a region with the highest number of least developed countries, we are engaged in a fierce up-hill battle to continuously present Mauritius as an attractive investment location. This is testified by the achievement of nearly MUR 10 billion in FDI for the year 2011 amidst persistent global uncertainties.

The 2011 FDI flow analysis that appears in the new R & D section of this March issue indicates that in most sectors of activity, namely financial services, hospitality and property development, IRS/RES/ IHS, construction, healthcare and manufacturing, we have in fact had an increase in the flow of investments.

This is largely the result of remedial strategies we have adopted, including a targeted approach to further consolidate existing markets, the identification and tapping of new and emerging markets and a focus on greenfield projects in order to boost investments. Moreover, in line with our initiative to enhance our investment climate, BOI hosted a workshop for the official launching of the OECD Investment Policy Review. We shall study their forthcoming report in order to translate any new insights into policies.

On the international scene, the visibility of Mauritius is evidenced by our recent presence in Paris to create awareness regarding the potential of the biotech sector. Also, our participation in MIPIM 2012 (Marché International pour les Professionnels de l’Immobilier), the world’s premier real estate event, showcased the diverse investment opportunities in Mauritius. MIPIM attracted significant interest as our promoters of the real estate sector sought more partnership, collaborations and development partners to give a boost to real estate development.

On the domestic front, the new Repo rate set at 4,9% augurs well for the economy as a whole. We can only encourage our investors to avail themselves of this new window of opportunity and the insights from our FDI analysis to further assist them in their decision-making process.

The initiative of the Bank of Mauritius offsets prolonged adverse circumstances that seem to shackle the world market, in particular the uncertainties on the European continent. The lowering of the interest rate should act as a real boost to investors’ confidence. I am pleased to bring to you an exclusive interview of Ms. Siew Meng Tan, CEO of HSBC in this edition. This is our way of marking the celebration of the International Woman’s Day earlier this month.

Last but not least, as part of our endeavour to continuously be of support to our investors, we submit to you this very first bilingual edition of our newsletter with the hope that it will be an informative read to all. I wish to express my gratitude to my staff for carrying out their duties with passion, and for their ever-growing determination and willingness to serve our investors to the best of their abilities.

Ken Poonoosamy

Managing Director