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December 2011

Dear Valued Investors,

In a couple of days the curtain will be brought down on 2011. It is, therefore, opportune to take stock of the results of this year's actions and look forward to the prospects of 2012 in various sectors of investment.

In retrospect, on the international front, this has been a year of turmoil with a bitter dose of suspense, “a dangerous new phase” according to the latest IMF World Economic Outlook.

However, on the home front, we have encouraging news. FDI flows into Mauritius for the year 2011 had been initially estimated at MUR 8 billion. Yet, against an unchangingly somber economic backdrop, our monitoring of the industry indicates that FDI will range from MUR 9.5 billion to MUR 10 billion at the close of the year. This is a first good note, overall.

Another satisfactory result has been recorded in our Hospitality & Property Development with investment totaling MUR 5.7 billion. The Real Estate Development Scheme is bearing fruit with a good range of products, namely luxurious properties, RES projects, new hotel constructions and shopping malls.

As the curtain lifts on 2012, the real estate sector promises, for the first semester, the launching of projects worth MUR 14 billion in Mauritius and in Rodrigues.

The evolution of the world economic situation with an absence of visibility remains daunting. But in the light of this month's A.T. Kearney FDI Confidence Index which forecasts an increase of FDI in 2012, BOI's marketing strategy will be geared towards the emerging economies. Renewed efforts will focus on the promotion of emerging sectors like knowledge and healthcare. Hopefully, we will also witness the takeoff of new sectors like renewable energies, marinas and film-making.

The ICT-BPO industry, on its side, has gathered a critical mass with 500 companies employing around 16,800 people. This represents a growth of 25% in terms of companies and it points to the viability of our investment proposition.

In terms of industry segmentation, IT outsourcing has surpassed BPO reinforcing the fact that Mauritius is carving a niche as an IT destination.

On another score, the financial services sector has contributed towards elevating Mauritius as an international financial centre. The BOI is very active in promoting Mauritius as a clean, trusted, reliable and well regulated financial services sector. We pursued an aggressive image-promotion campaign of Mauritius in India over the last quarter of 2011 and will continue to do so in 2012.

To consolidate our image as a trusted platform, BOI will be working towards increasing our network of DTAAs and IPPAs.

Sectors with high multiplier and economic spillover effects like healthcare, life sciences and knowledge are well on track and they will be promoted further in 2012.

The knowledge sector contributed over 4% to GDP over the last four years with a slight 0.3% growth expected for 2011. Significant developments are foreseen with more foreign tertiary institutions choosing to establish their campus in Mauritius. New partnerships with overseas universities are in the pipeline, while the number of foreign students from regional countries has doubled.

2011 also demonstrated the resilience of the local manufacturing sector which is heading towards high-tech manufacturing and service activities. Technical textiles, state-of-the-art Original Equipment Manufacturing, Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals are the order of the day. Design innovation, availability of skilled labour, strategic location and a friendly investment and regulatory climate are the core components of the business environment in Mauritius that are enabling investment in high-tech manufacturing.

Regarding the food industry, 2012 will witness a breakthrough with the first harvest, processing and commercialisation of locally grown rice. In addition, efforts toward regional integration, in particular the development of agricultural projects in Mozambique, hold good promises.

In the seafood sector, annual exports have exceeded MUR 10.1 billion. Fish Farming reached a new height with a production of more than 1,000 tonnes. The seafood hub bustled with 700 fishing vessels calling in the Port Louis harbor. The income from the issuance of permits and licenses amounted to MUR 51 million. The diversification of this industry is under way with the development of marine biotechnology projects.

With regard to sustainable development, projects completed in 2011 include a 3 MW landfill gas to energy plant by Sotravic Ltd. It is the first Green Power Generation project in the region and it started its operations in October with an investment of MUR 200 million. Solid waste recycling attracted an investment amounting to nearly MUR 300 million with the construction of the first composting plant with a processing capacity of some 90, 000 tons of waste annually.

We cannot forget the throes of the past year. However, we nurture our determination in order to face 2012 optimistically, while watching closely the events unfolding in Europe. Caught in the dynamics of fluctuating markets and the time-lagging effect of global shocks, BOI will be adjusting its promotional strategies accordingly. An economic expansion in the region will definitely spark off significant spillovers for Mauritius. Consequently, we will be consolidating our regional partnerships.

We take this opportunity to present to you the main local events scheduled by BOI for 2012:

  • January 30th - Mauritius: Africa Education City
  • March 29th - Africa Tourism
  • June 4th - Private Equity and Wealth Management
  • July 23rd - Africa Logistics
  • September 10th-14th - ICT and Outsourcing: The New Environment

We trust that this events programme will enable you to discover new leads for next year's investment projects.

Finally, I would like to seize this opportunity to express our appreciation and thanks to all our stakeholders for their support during this year. We look forward to a closer collaboration as we cautiously tread the new paths which will be opening up.

On this note, I wish to reassure you of our commitment to serve you to the best of our ability.

On behalf of our Chairman, Mr Maurice Lam, and all the staff at the Board of Investment, I wish you all a very successful and a Happy New Year 2012.

Ken Poonoosamy

Managing Director