Mauritius has taken advantage of its strategic position at the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Australia to gradually transform itself into an international center and jurisdiction for investors looking for security, attractive taxation, transparent regulation and added value. Mauritius has become an important platform for global business to develop activities and to invest in African continent.
Mauritius has long implemented a policy of openness towards the international community. The Mauritian population is bilingual in French and English. (The French language is spoken usually and the English language is written from business). The infrastructure is modern and Mauritius offers excellent means of communication with the new airport and regular flights to major European cities and countries on the African continent. If you add a strategic time zone that allows trading with Far Eastern markets in the morning, financial centers in Europe during the day and the United States in the afternoon and evening, you understand better why Mauritius is open to the world and is one of the most connected countries.
The country has taken very well advantage of its strategic position at the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Australia to become an international jurisdiction known to investors seeking security, transparent regulation and high added value. Mauritius' assets and advantages are now well known. Mauritius is now recognized for its expertise in many fields of activity (banking, insurance, finance, tourism, etc...) and can therefore assert its regional leadership. Seen from Europe, it has become the real gateway to invest in Africa and a financial and business hub for the region. In the Indian Ocean, economic cooperation relations are very close with Reunion Island and more recently Mayotte, two French overseas departments and of course Madagascar.
Mauritius is a recognised financial centre thanks in part to the effective supervision of the financial sector by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the legal framework: Financial Services Development Act, Companies Act, Trust Act, Insurance Act, Banking Act and Protected Cell Companies Act. The Mauritius Board of Investment (BOI) has liaison offices in several African countries. The organizations and institutions that support businesses and exporters are very numerous and active. These include Enterprise Mauritius, the Mauritius Export Association (MEXA), the Business Mauritius Association, the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce (MCCI), the Mauritius Trade Easy platform, the Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie France Maurice (CCIFM).
Mauritius created in 2012 through the Board of Investment (BOI) a Mauritius Center of Excellence for Africa, Africa Center of Excellence, with the mission to provide all useful information to economic actors on business and investment opportunities in Africa including tenders, establish partnership opportunities between investors, create a networking platform, support investors in their deployment in Africa. This center actively participates in the organization of investment prospecting missions in African countries and thus works to strengthen regional bilateral relations. Africa Center of Excellence
Mauritius Africa Fund (MAF) was established to encourage and support Mauritian companies to invest in Africa. The Mauritian government has committed Rs. 500 million over five years to participate alongside economic actors in the development of Mauritian structures abroad, particularly in special economic zones. The Mauritius Africa Fund participates as a partner alongside investors up to 10% of the capital of companies created to invest in Africa by Mauritian investors in well targeted projects.
The Special Economic Zones of Mauritius in Africa are instruments for implementing and exploiting development opportunities and provide exclusive access to Mauritius operators in African countries with which it has agreements. The Mauritian government is very involved in this process. Mauritius intends in particular to encourage foreign companies to set up here in order to gain access to the Special Economic Zones it has in Africa. The companies concerned benefit from a range of facilities, cover against political risks, as well as tax and customs exemptions.
Africa still suffers from slow borders and customs formalities that hinder continental trade. To facilitate exports between African countries, 27 nations have given rise to a common market. This area will bring together three economic regions, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC). After South Africa and Madagascar in July, Mauritius signed in turn in October 2017 the Free trade treaty which should extend to half the continent. Twenty-seven states of the continent are concerned. To date, 21 have signed this tripartite agreement, which is on the right track before ratification.
Double taxation treaties (DTAAs) are bilateral agreements signed between two countries whose relations are fairly extensive, with the aim of avoiding double taxation: one in the country concerned by the activity of a resident and the other in the country of origin of the natural or legal person. They cover the main taxes and have been drafted for some years on the basis of the model prescribed by the OECD. One of the great advantages offered by Mauritius to foreign investors is to have a real network of agreements with many African countries. Examples include Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique.
Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPAs), Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs) are bilateral agreements aimed at protecting and promoting foreign investment in a country through concrete guarantees and legal obligations. Mauritius is recognized for the protection of foreign investors. This is a decisive advantage for settling in Mauritius and for investment protection not only in Mauritius but also in the countries with which Mauritius has signed agreements. They are very numerous, Mauritius has signed more than forty of them.
We propose a section in which you will find all the information relating to the history and current state of bilateral relations and economic cooperation agreements between Mauritius and African countries, country by country. This presentation allows investors wishing to use Mauritius as a platform to invest in Africa and develop activities in already identified African countries to quickly find details of bilateral agreements, tax treaties and investment promotion and protection agreements where they exist.