Investor’s Paradise: Opportunities in Mauritius’ Diverse Economy

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Mauritius, a young and evolving island nation, has made significant strides since gaining independence. Transitioning from a one-crop economy to a vibrant, diversified, and inclusive one, Mauritius has seen its per capita income soar from USD 200 in 1968 to USD 12,000 in 2019. Over the past five decades, it has garnered international recognition for its uninterrupted economic growth, notably from 1981 to 2019, driven by diversification which has made it an investors paradise to the global community.

Today, Mauritius boasts over twelve industries supporting its socio-economic development, with the tertiary sector constituting 75 percent of its economy. Achieving high human development status, reduced poverty rates, and improved life expectancy, Mauritius has demonstrated remarkable resilience, weathering the Great Recession and attracting record levels of foreign direct investment. Guided by a vision to become an inclusive, high-income, and green economy, it emerged stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

In 2022, its economy grew by 8.8%, the fastest pace in over three decades, and the IMF ranks it among the world’s top 20 fastest-growing economies in 2023. Implementing fiscal consolidation and focusing on economic growth, social inclusion, and sustainable development, Mauritius aims to achieve energy self-sufficiency, producing 60 percent of its electricity from local renewable sources by 2030. The nation also positions itself to adapt to evolving global trends, including AI, fintech, and digitalization, offering diverse opportunities for investors across sectors such as textiles, tourism, renewable energy, and more.

With an array of trade agreements, Mauritius has preferential access to markets with over 3 billion people. Notably, it continues to attract substantial foreign direct investment due to its socio-political stability, robust institutions, good governance, and business-friendly environment, all aligned with its vision for an inclusive, flourishing, and green Mauritius over the past five decades.

Below is an extract of the presentation made by Mauritius’ Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, and Development, Dr. Renganaden Padayachy, in the United Kingdom during the 2023 Africa Business Leadership Award event organized by the African Leadership Magazine, UK.

Mauritius, a young and openly developing island state, has come a long way since its independence.

From a mono-crop economy to a vibrant, resilient, diversified, and inclusive economy, Mauritius’ per capita income jumped from USD 200 in 1968 to USD 12,000 in 2019.

 

2. Taking its destiny into its own hands, Mauritius set out to develop its economy and society and has made impressive progress since.

 

3. Over the past five decades, Mauritius has been internationally recognized for having the longest stretch of economic growth without a contraction from 1981 to 2019.

 

4. This has been possible due mainly to the persistent diversification of the economic base. From a one-crop economy, Mauritius today has more than twelve industries to support its socio-economic development. Sugar production, which used to account for over 25 percent of GDP in the 1960s, now contributes to less than 3 percent of the country’s total output. Moreover, the structure of the economy has evolved. The tertiary sector today makes up about 75 percent of the economy, compared to around 50 percent in 1968.

 

5. In 2020, Mauritius joined the rank of very high human development countries as measured by the United Nations. The level of poverty has been reduced significantly, with less than 1 percent of the population considered absolute poor as defined by the World Bank. Life expectancy has increased to above 70 years. More than 99 percent of the population has access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and electricity.

 

6. Over the years, Mauritius’ socio-economic development has shown remarkable resilience. The country has been able to ride out the Great Recession and even attract record levels of FDI.

 

7. The nation’s vision of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, as set out in the Government Programme 2020-2024, is to accelerate the transformation of Mauritius into an inclusive, high-income, and green economy.

 

8. Learning from the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, Mauritius has emerged stronger from the crisis, and we are now building more resilience in the country’s socio-economic fabric.

 

9. Indeed, in 2022, the Mauritian economy grew by 8.8%, at its fastest pace in over 35 years.

 

10. According to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook in April 2023, Mauritius was among the 20 fastest-growing economies in the world.