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Government of Mauritius

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November 2011

Dear Valued Investors,

The Board of Investment is translating into specific practical actions its new motto spelt out in the 2012 National Budget: “A Unique Investor Experience”.

The uniqueness of your experiences in Mauritius will be measured by the business-friendly approach adopted by BOI and the streamlined legal framework in place to facilitate investment.

We are grooming our proximity approach and are listening to stakeholders' points of view. A case in point is the 10:10 Leaders Round Table conducted this month jointly by BOI and Global Board of Trade (GBOT).

We wish to share with you emerging leads regarding investment opportunities in various sectors. In the area of education and training, the objective is to position Mauritius as a knowledge hub. In line with the model for the development of the ICT/BPO sector, we are planning the creation of integrated campuses with state-of-the-art facilities, thereby reducing the lead time for setting up while, at the same time, providing quality education to students from the sub-Sahara region at a very competitive rate. In an exclusive interview for this newsletter, Professor Antony Eddison of Middlesex University optimistically stated that “my institution made the right decision to set up a branch campus in Mauritius. I also know many international universities are looking at establishing branch campuses or searching for academic partners in Mauritius which they see as a ‘gateway’ into Africa.

Mauritius is equally emerging as a global centre for legal services. Recently, Mauritius has been requested by the Honduran Government to establish the Mauritian legislation in a new Special Development Region (SDR) that is currently being developed in Honduras. The Supreme Court of Mauritius will act as the court of appeal for the judicial system that is being established in the SDR of this Central-American republic.

In addition, Mauritius is encouraging the development of high value added activities in the field of biomedical and scientific research. The Clinical Trials Act has also unleashed opportunities in clinical research and the next step is to develop pre-clinical research activities in Mauritius. BOI will pursue its efforts to attract further investment in healthcare and will also play a lead role to position Mauritius as a leading medical tourism hub attracting foreign patients for treatment.

The investment climate is very favourable for doing business. The 2012 Budget has sparked a feel-good factor in the investor community. BOI is intensifying its promotion campaigns to market the manifold business opportunities. This past month BOI marked a fruitful presence in China and India. The diversification strategy will be pursued in these emerging economies while, at the same time, consolidating our footprint in our traditional markets.

BOI is actively working on the framework for the development of two newly-announced sectors in the budget, namely film-making and marinas. Moreover, a close coordination of the various sub-committees of the Joint Public-Private Sector Business Facilitation Task Force is underway. The avowed objective is to further the ease of doing business framework of Mauritius. Reassuringly, the joint World Bank–PwC’s Paying Taxes Report 2012, released this November, has endorsed the effectiveness of the fiscal system of Mauritius by ranking us 9th globally and 1st in Africa in terms of favourable fiscal policies for business purposes. In the same line, Mauritius continues to offer a low tax jurisdiction and an investor-friendly environment to encourage local and foreign companies to set up a business.

The international context signposts that the world economic centre of gravity is moving. In this new global landscape, Africa will be called upon to play a major role in the years ahead. BOI is fully conscious of the potential of the region and believes that Mauritius can enlarge its economic base through regional integration. Watering the collaboration among African countries is thus of paramount importance for the continent to emerge. BOI is dedicated to assist in boosting the regional investment climate and enhancing the business environment in the Continent. In this respect, a delegation of BOI was in Burkina Faso this month to assist in the setting up of the Burkina investment promotion agency.

I am confident that the mood, the mindset as well as the approach are changing and BOI will rise to the challenge for the stakes are high indeed.

On this note, I wish to reassure you of our commitment to serve you to the best of our ability and wish you all an enjoyable read.

Ken Poonoosamy

Managing Director