Mauritius: Country and Foreign Investment
Economy and Currency
Ever since gaining independence from Britain in 1968 the economy of Mauritius has grown steadily. Growth estimates for 2012 are 3.3%, down from 3.8% in 2011. Sugar was and is a dominant crop, and still accounts for 15% of export earnings. There are growing industrial, services, and tourist sectors. An export processing zone set up in 1970 has been successful, particularly in garment manufacture. The financial services industry has been a more recent Government-inspired initiative, but is now developing strongly.
GDP per head of USD15,800 (2012 est.) is in a middle range, and unemployment at 8.1% (2012 est.) is on the high side.
The Mauritian currency is the rupee (MR). Exchange controls were dismantled in stages between 1984 and 1994. Currently (2013) USD1 = about MR30.50. Investors are still required to demonstrate the source of funds to be repatriated, and must be up to date with local taxation.
The 2005 budget swept away most import duties with the aim of boosting the domestic economy.
Concluding an Article IV consultation with Mauritius in January, 2006, the IMF noted some economic problems due to adverse external trade circumstances, and recommended privatization of state enterprises plus broadening of the tax base.