COUNTRIES BRIEFS
Businessafrica.net Newsletter ISSN 1563-4108
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Mauritius Export and Investment Authority - THE REPUBLIC OF MAURITIUS - BRIEFS

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PRESENTATION

The Republic of Mauritius is a volcanic island, measuring 58 km (36 mi) from North to South and 47 km (29 mi) from East to West.

Located in the Indian Ocean in Southern Africa, 800 km (500 mi) Southeast of Madagascar; 3860 km (2400 mi) Southwest of India and 220 km (135 mi) Northeast of its nearest neighbor, the French territory of la Reunion.


It has a total area of 1,860 sq km (land: 1,850 sq km; water: 10 sq km); included are: Agalega Islands, Cargados Carajos Shoals (Saint Brandon), and Rodrigues some 560 km (350 mi) to the Northeast.

The total coastline of the main territory (Mauritius Island) is: 177 km

Population: 1,182,212 (1999); 1,210,447 (July 2003 est.); with a population growth rate of: 1.18% (1999); 0.84% (2003 est.).

Independence from United Kingdom March 12, 1968.
National holiday: March 12

Agriculture production: sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses; cattle, goats; fish.

Industrial production: food processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing; chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, nonelectric machinery; tourism. Industrial production growth rate: 5.8% (1992)

Since independence in 1968, in comparison to many other African countries, Mauritius is an economic success story.

Mauritius benefited from the political vision and economic development strategy deftly implemented by its founder and first Prime Minister - Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam.

He negotiated a very good selling price for the then main and quite sole export earning (90%) industrial production of the country - cane sugar - to the European Union market.

The flux of money generated by the deal was for quite two decades - from 1960 to 1980 - the monetary cushion used by the country's leaders to develop a diversified economy; establish sound communication, administrative, legal and financial services to attract foreign investments.


Agriculture' share in the GNP is steadily dwindling. 10% in year 2000 and 6% in year 2003 (Sugar represents 25% of the total of Mauritius' exports and sugarcane cultivation 90 % of arable land). It had been outclassed by services (61% - in which tourism accounts for 16%) and industrial production, which is developing at a steady growth rate of 5-6% per year.

Since 1992, Mauritius' authorities are promoting offshore activities with the ambition to position the country as a major player in financing business and transshipping activities between Southeast Asia and Africa. Their developing strategy attracted more than 6,400 offshore business concerns end of year 2000; to totaling around 18,000 end of 2002 - for a global investment amounting to US$ 15.77 billions. Click here for listing of exporters from Mauritius

Click here for the speech delivered by Mauritius's prime minister Anerood Jugnauth to the opening session of the Private Sector Forum / second African Growth and Opportunities Act - AGOA - between USA and Africa / January 13-17, 2003, Port Louis, Mauritius. A remarkable synopsis of the strategy that lifted Mauritius from the developing world to the group of countries enjoying medium per capita GNP in the range of US$ 4,000.


Since the independence, average annual economic growth rate has been in the range of 5% to 6%. This remarkable achievement has been reflected in increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much improved infrastructure.

However, the globalization of the world economy and the Uruguay Round Agreement are one of the roadblocks on this remarkable development path.

Mauritius is reorganizing its development strategy to cope with the new challenge of trading without the safety net of bilateral commercial preferential agreements.

In order to be in the position to compete with Asia new tigers that can bank on a reservoir of low salary workforce, there is an urgent necessity to restructure the sugar cane industry; implementing capitalistic mergers in order to scrape some profit gains; the same for the textile industry which need to turn to high quality production.

Performance in 1990-95 was achieved with solid growth and low unemployment (less than 2%). Since then, due to the implementation of the reorganization scheme, unemployment has worsen to reach 10% in 1998; as Mauritius' entrepreneurs are recruiting more and more workers from China in order to overcome the local high salary level.

That unemployment situation was highlighted from October 1999 to March 2000 when the country experienced civil disturbances due to the malcontent of those (10% of the population) which have missed the wealth train and felt left over the economic success track.

There is no doubt that the leadership of the country is brainstorming about these hindrances and will find solutions in order to continue the remarkable developing experienced by Mauritius. A prospective plan - Mauritius VISION 2020 - has been drafted and will be implemented during the coming two decades.

MORE ON MAURITIUS

1- D&B Export Guide To Mauritius
Digital Delivery In PDF by D&B
2- D&B Country Report
Digital Delivery In PDF by D&B
3- The Dive Sites of Mauritius
by Allan Mountain
4- Science And Power
In Colonial Mauritius
by William Kelleher Storey
5- Common Denominators
Ethnicity, Nation-Building And Compromise In Mauritius by Thomas Hylland Eriksen
6- Frora of Mauritius and The Seychelles
by J.G. Baker
7- Population of Mauritius
by Sripati Chandrasekhar
8- The Rape of Sita
by Lindsey Collen

9- Secret Africa
by Lawrence George Green
10- Slaves, Freedmen and Indentured Laborers
In Colonial Mauritius by Richard B. Allen
11- Servants, Sirdars And Settlers
Indians In Mauritius - 1834-1874
by Marina Carter
12- Convicts In The Indian Ocean
Transportation From South Asia To Mauritius - 1815-1853 by Clare Anderson
13- The Mauritian Economy
by Rajen Dabee
14- Population, Development & Environment
Understanding Their Interactions In Mauritius
by Wolfgang Lutz
15- More News On Mauritius
by Allafrica

Click to contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum

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SOME FIGURES


GNP:
US$ 4.57 billion (2000); 4.91 billion (2001); 5.16 billion (2002); 5.43 billion (2003)
GNP- growth rate: 7.5% (2000); 5.2% (2001); 5.2% (2002) 5.2% (2003)
GNP-per capita: US$ 3,866 (2000); 4,449 (2003)

Click here for the difference between GNP and Parity Purchasing Power

GNP-composition by sector

  1. agriculture: 6%

  2. industry: 33%
  3. services: 61%

Exports: US$ 1.6 billion (f.o.b. 2000); 1.6 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Commodities: clothing and textiles 55%, sugar 24% (2000)
Exports - partners: UK 27.7%, France 25.5%, US 16.4%, Madagascar 6.2%, Belgium 5% (2002)

Imports: US$ 2.3 billion (f.o.b. 2000); 1.8 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Commodities: manufactured goods 37%, capital equipment 19%, foodstuffs 13%, petroleum products 8%, chemicals 7%.
Imports - partners: France 18.4%, South Africa 13.5%, India 7.8%, China 4.5%, UK 4.2% (2002)

CURRENCY EQUIVALENCE

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ENTRY POLICY / HEALTH POLICY


No visa is required for a stay of up to three months if passport valid for six months accounting from date of arrival; and if tickets and documents for return or onward travel are shown at entry point.


International Certificate of Vaccination for Yellow Fever is required if arriving from an infected area within five days. Fore more, consult one of the following addresses

Passport Office
Line Barracks
Lord Kitchner Road
Port Louis
Tel : +(230) 208 1212
Fax : +(230) 212 2398

Representation in the US
Suite 441, 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Tel: +(1) 202 244-1491/ 1492
Fax: +(1) 202 966-0983

AIR-LINKING / TRANSSHIPPING


Mauritius has multiple daily air connections to Europe and India through international big carriers; and to South-Africa with South Africa Airways. The national flag carrier: AIR MAURITIUS is active on Europe (six flights per week from Paris - France) and India.


Main harbor: Port Louis the capital-city.

Merchant marine: 17 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 178,846 GRT/236,308 DWT (ships by type: cargo 6, combination bulk 2, container 6, liquefied gas tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 2)

Mauritius is promoting a flag of convenience registry. For more about said registry, please contact one of the addresses below mentioned in the "Investors Contacts" section

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INVESTOR CONTACTS

Mauritius Export Development and Investment Authority
MEDIA
25 Pope Hennessy Street
Port-Louis, Mauritius
For more click here

Mauritius Standards Bureau
Moka, Mauritius
Tel: +(230) 433 3648
Fax: +(230) 433 5150
msb@intnet.mu

Mauritius Offshore Business Activities Authority - MOBAA
5th floor, Block A
Wharf le Caudan Waterfront
Old Pavillon Street
Port Louis
Mauritius
Tel: +(230) 210 7000
Fax: +(230) 212 9459 / 211 3398
mobaa@intnet.mu

Click here to review funding available to rebuild power generation system
ACCOMMODATION


Mauritius is an excellent holiday destination
. "God created Mauritius and then heaven." Dixit American author Mark Twain.

There are plenty of accommodation infrastructures serviced up to international standard. Travellers can choose between a budget hotel or room (US$ 10-30); a mid-range hotel (US$ 30-60); and five stars resorts and palaces (from US$ 60). No need to single one out. Nevertheless here are some addresses; for more click here

La Pirogue Sun Hotel
Wolmar
Tel: +(230) 453 8441
Fax: +(230) 453 8494

Le Meridien Paradise Cove
Paradise Cove
Tel: +(230) 262 7983
Fax: +(230) 262 7736

Merville Beach Hotel
Royal Road
Tel: +(230) 263 8621
Fax: +(230) 263 8146

Berjaya Le Morne Beach Resort
Le Morne
Tel: +(230) 683 6800
Fax: +(230) 683 6070

Mont Choisy Hotel
Route Royale
Tel: +(230) 261 6070
Fax: +(230) 261 6749

Le Mauricia Hotel
Route Royale
Tel: +(230) 263 7800
Fax: +(230) 263 7888


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