Newsletter January 2016: Widening Economic Opportunities
Dear Valued Investors,
Welcome to the first edition of our newsletter for 2016.
We are still in the early days, but 2016 seems to be portending in its wake economic uncertainties at a global level, again dampening our hopes for a revival. Stock and commodity markets have been highly volatile, as a slowdown in demand in China and Europe reverberates across the world. Oil prices hit a bottom-low at USD 28 a barrel, plummeting at 75% since mid-2014 to their lowest level in 2003!
The International Monetary Fund has already factored in these latest developments, and their global growth forecast for 2016 has been trimmed to 3.4%.
It is, however, in this type of conjuncture that we have to seize the opportunity for introspection and refine our strategy.
Efforts are being multiplied to strengthen our programme of economic diplomacy to broaden the opportunities for our investors and to encourage business from abroad to set up on the island. His Excellency, Mr Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, concludes today a highly symbolic 3-day visit to bolster economic relations with Mauritius.
The Fourth Political Dialogue between the EU and Mauritius held earlier this month reiterated the commitment of the two parties for stronger partnership on several areas of mutual interest. In the same vein, a Fujian delegation led by the Director General of Fujian Provincial Affairs office, was in Mauritius as recently as last week to explore investment opportunities and possible avenues of cooperation between Mauritius and Fujian.
In addition, the President of the Regional Council of Reunion Island, who paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister in early January, reiterated the shared vision of Mauritius and Reunion Island to further reinforce partnership to strengthen the economic development of the region and to tap opportunities present across the African continent in fields like ecological tourism industry, renewable energy and digital connectivity.
In a bid to provide even more comfort to investors, we are working to expand our network of investment treaties. A delegation from Qatar was recently in Mauritius to negotiate on an IPPA between our two countries.
Significant progress is being made in terms of improving the business environment, with actions leading towards an e-licensing system regrouping all licenses and permits information and applications in one single platform.
This edition of the newsletter also features an exclusive interview of Mr. Gérard Sanspeur, the Chairman of BOI, relating to the role of the organization in new economic architecture.
We wish you a pleasant read.