Mauritius is well known for its ease of doing business, where it is ranked first in Africa and 13th globally in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2020, while the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2020 highlights that among Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Mauritius was among the top 5 host economies for FDI flows in 2019, with flows amounting to USD 0.5 billion (representing an increase of 27.1% on the previous year) which confirms its leading position in facilitating international investment flows.
Mauritius places a strong premium on good governance, where the island has cemented its leading position in Africa by being ranked top in Africa by the Mo Ibrahim Index on African Governance (IIAG) for each consecutive year for over a decade.
Mauritius also offers legal certainty to investors through its hybrid legal system (which the Privy Council of the UK is the highest Court of Appeal) and the availability of dispute resolution mechanisms via the Mauritius International Arbitration Centre (MIAC) and the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) Mediation and Arbitration Centre (MARC). Investors can also avail of a wide network of Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs) and Double Tax Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs).
Mauritius is strongly committed to ensuring tax transparency. It was the first country in Africa to sign the FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) and it is also recognised as cooperating with the EU on tax good governance, where it has implemented all of its commitments. Mauritius is also committed to full compliance with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force in relation to money laundering and terrorism financing, and is actively working towards achieving this goal, in dialogue with the relevant international authorities.
Beyond this, Mauritius offers political stability, a safe, secure and peaceful multicultural environment to live in, an educated and bilingual workforce, a conducive time zone for international business (GMT +4), tropical climate and an attractive lifestyle.
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As an outward-looking nation focused on connecting the world, Mauritius has concluded a wide range of agreements to reinforce its position as a regional hub for financial services and investments.
In terms of bilateral agreements, Mauritius has signed 23 Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) and 24 Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs) with various African nations, which underpin the role of Mauritius as supporting FDI into Africa, with the stock of investments into Africa through Mauritius amounting to USD 39.6 billion as at December 2019.
The various agreements in place aim to ensure that as an IFC Mauritius has the right attribute to support FDI into Africa, contributing immensely to its growth as showcased by stock investment passing through the Mauritius route to USD 39.6 billion in December 2019.
Mauritius also stands to benefit in terms of trade and investment through the entry into force of the Mauritius-China Free Trade Area, the CECPA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement) with India and the AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area), to which Mauritius is a signatory.
MOVING TO MAURITIUS
Mauritius is well known as an open economy with a competitive and bilingual business environment, attractive tax regime, and a multitude of investment opportunities, which welcomes foreign talents to contribute to economic growth on the island and in the wider region.
Mauritius has recently streamlined its permits regime to attract new market players to settle on the island. Mauritius now offers an Occupation Permit (OP), which is a combined work and residence permit which allows foreign nationals to work and reside in Mauritius under three specific categories, namely Investor, Professional & Self-Employed, subject to certain conditions.
Furthermore, the Premium Visa has also been introduced for any non-citizen who intends to stay in Mauritius for a maximum period of one year as a tourist, retiree or a professional willing to come with his/her family and carry out his business or work remotely from Mauritius, without entering the Mauritius labour market.