Mauritius - Gateway to Africa
Mauritius enjoys close cultural, business and bilateral ties to many other African countries.
Over the last few decades, Mauritius has grown into an attractive, secure and competitive location
for cross-border investments and is regarded as a gateway for investments into and trading with Africa.
Mauritius has a crucial role to play in the development of Africa. Mauritius’ classification on the
white list of the OECD reflects an immaculate track record as an offshore center and low-tax platform
of substance. Mauritius is recognized for its excellence and best practices in African business and
for its leading drive that is transforming the continent.
Doing Business in Mauritius
Due to rapid growth of Mauritius as a tax friendly environment for foreign capital and its position
as a staging area for ventures into Africa and Asia and beyond, Mauritius has become
the obvious choice for the establishment of holding companies, foundations, trusts and special purpose vehicles.
Given the recent political developments in South Africa, Mauritius is expected to become a strategic place for South African
business owners that want to expand their business into Africa under a standalone structure in Mauritius, independent
from the shareholder structure in SA. See more details here.
The rapid and balanced development of infrastructure and services over the last decade in Mauritius
and a growing reputation as an international business center combined with a sound legal framework and
fiscal policies and the regulatory and local infrastructure of a developed market have created a fertile
environment for doing business.
Mauritius’ “Ease of Doing Business” is ranking no. 20 out of 185 countries, according to the Doing
Business Report 2019 by the World Bank. The infographic shows how far better Mauritius is ranking in the
various disciplines of Doing Business compared with the Africa average.
Taxation in Mauritius
Mauritius is a low-tax jurisdiction. Income tax and corporate tax for domestic companies and most Global Business
Companies (GBC)is 15%. For exporting goods and provision of some financial services, the effective coroporate tax rate
will be reduced to 3%.
There is no capital gains tax.
There is no withholding tax for GBCs.
Mauritius has concluded 43 tax treaties with other countries (as of March 2018) and is party to a
series of treaties under negotiation. Please find more details on the Double Taxation Avoidance
Agreements with African countries here.
Island of Freedom and Peace
Mauritius is highly ranked for democracy and for economic and political freedom.
Economic freedom is a crucial component of liberty. It empowers people to work, produce,
consume, own, trade, and invest according to their personal choices. Mauritius continues to
be a regional leader in economic freedom, according to the 2018 Index of Economic Freedom
provided by The Heritage Foundation in partnership with the Wall Street Journal. With an
overall score of 75.1 (out of max 100), Mauritius is ranking no. 21 (out of 180) in the world,
and no. 1 in Africa, ahead of Germany (no. 25), Austria (no. 32), Japan (no. 30) and South
Africa (no. 77).
Mauritius is quite unique in the world of today, because the religions of Hinduism
(48.5% of the population, according to the 2011 census), Christianity (32.7%), Islam (17.3%)
and Buddhism (0.4%) coexist peacefully in a densely populated country.
Mauritius became independent in 1968 after it was possessed by the Dutch (1638 – 1710),
the French (1715 – 1810) and the British (1810 – 1968). English and French are generally
accepted as the official languages of Mauritius and as the languages of government
administration, courts, and business. The population is multi-ethnic, multi-religious,
multicultural and multilingual.
The main economic sectors are tourism, sugar, textiles, and financial services. In the
future, the marine economy shall also be developed, as Mauritius has one of the largest
Exclusive Economic Zones in the world.
The climate is tropical and maritime in nature. The time zone is UTC+4.
Mauritius’ Legal System
The legal system of Mauritius is a hybrid system combining more particularly English common law and
the French Napoleonic Code. Whilst the substantive law of obligations remains of French origin, the
modern legislation in the fields of company, banking, finance and taxation have a very strong English
flavor. The Act, under which companies and investment vehicles are registered, largely codifies English
common law principles.
The regulatory regime is robust but flexible. The Mauritian authorities have been extremely prudent
in adopting the best international law and regulations, by learning from how other jurisdictions have
Mauritius is not only a treaty-based jurisdiction but combines the traditional advantages of an
international financial center and provides access to several preferential trade agreements. The country
is the only international financial services center being a member of all the major African regional
organizations such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and
Southern Africa (COMESA) and Indian Ocean Rim – Association Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC).
Mauritius has signed Investment
Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs) with 20 African member states.
There is no foreign exchange control in Mauritius.