Dear Valued Investors,
This new edition of the BOI newsletter gives me the opportunity to address you for the first time in my capacity as Acting Managing Director of the Board of Investment (BOI). August 2011 has indeed been a tough month. The international economic and financial landscape has been rocked especially by the unexpected downgrade of the US credit rating by S&P and that of Japan’s sovereign rating recently by Moody's. These events have led to a climate of doubt and uncertainty sending mixed and negative economic signals across the US, Europe and parts of Asia.
Despite this difficult world economic context, the BOI is working in very close collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to further consolidate investors’ confidence in Mauritius. The BOI Team is ensuring that all investment projects in the pipeline are realised and that FDI flows for 2011 pick up during the third and fourth quarters of this year. We remain cautiously optimistic that we will end the year with a fairly reasonable level of FDI.
We have also engaged discussions with relevant stakeholders in order to propose concrete and actionable measures in the context of the forthcoming budget to improve our investment climate and remain in the top League of Nations in the World Bank Doing Business report. This ranking is crucial in positioning Mauritius as an ideal place to invest and do business in Africa. Another important benchmark worth mentioning in this August edition of our newsletter is the ranking of Mauritius in the African Countries of the future. Indeed, the FDI Intelligence, a specialist division of the Financial Times, released this month the “African Countries of the Future 2011/12² and Mauritius ranked third after Morocco and South Africa and came second in terms of FDI strategy.
Implementing the outward investment strategy remains a key initiative of BOI. We are encouraging local entrepreneurs to participate fully in regional integration, thus enlarging our economic space. The recent business delegation that accompanied our Prime Minister to Botswana provided BOI with the opportunity of organising a business forum in Gaborone which was attended by captains of industries from both countries and resulted in extremely fruitful exchanges. Mauritian entrepreneurs showed keen interests especially in Botswana’s ICT and financial sectors and there is good potential for boosting SME partnership. BOI took this opportunity to pursue a regional investment promotion campaign in South Africa. We renewed our networking efforts with business leaders and we expect to obtain positive results in terms of cross border investments. Two articles in this newsletter focus on the business forum in Gaborone and the investment promotion campaign in South Africa.
This edition of our newsletter also features an article by Roshan Seetohul, the President of OTAM. Indeed, the ICT/BPO sector has been growing exponentially. The sector is today among one of the biggest contributors to GDP.
Before I end, I would like to thank our ex Managing Director, Mr Maunthrooa, for his contribution to bring the BOI to new heights. On behalf of the entire BOI team, I would like to wish him well in his future endeavours.
Finally, I would like to seize this opportunity to sincerely thank the Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the Chairman of BOI and the Board for the confidence placed in me in my capacity as Acting Managing Director to lead such an important public organisation devoted to promoting Mauritius as an investment and business hub of choice.
With these words and my optimism in working in closer collaboration with all stakeholders, I wish you good reading. Rest assured of our full commitment to serve you and the country to the best of our abilities.
Ag. Managing Director