The Board of Investment Mauritius has announced plans to open a Johannesburg office later this year, in order to facilitate trade and investment with South Africa.
“The objective of opening up the office, together with the ministry of foreign affairs, is to create more visibility about Mauritius, about the investment opportunities that it provides and how best the Board of Investment can facilitate investment in Mauritius,” said Nirmala Mahadeo-Jeetah from the Board of Investment Mauritius.
Speaking on the sidelines of an investment roadshow in Johannesburg, Mahadeo-Jeetah said the local office would assist South Africans to identify investment opportunities in Mauritius, gain permits to set up businesses, advise on relocation and “provide after-care services”. It would also facilitate investment from Mauritius into South Africa.
Mauritius counts South Africa as one of its main regional markets, with trade between the two countries topping MUR18 billion* last year. South Africa accounted for close to one fifth of foreign direct investment and over 100 000 tourist arrivals in Mauritius in 2015. It also issued 516 South Africans, mostly professionals and investors, with occupation and residence permits between January and April this year.
Source: Board of Investment Mauritius
The island nation, which boasts real GDP growth of 3.4%, access to 26% of the world’s population via air and sea networks as well as a range of investment promotion and protection agreements and bilateral double taxation avoidance agreements, is positioning itself as a prime investment destination.
Having shifted away from a sugar-based monocrop economy in the 1970s, Mauritius plans to become a high-income economy by 2020. It currently provides fiscal incentives for investment into a range of sectors including logistics, manufacturing, ICTs, film production and real estate development. To date, South Africans have invested more than MUR7.2 billion in commercial property in Mauritius.
Delegates attending the week-long roadshow and private meetings in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, were most interested in manufacturing, logistics, real estate and exports, Mahadeo-Jeetah said.
She said Mauritius is currently ranked as the best country in which to do business in Africa by the World Bank, the most competitive nation in Africa by the World Economic Forum, first in the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance and first in Africa in terms of economic freedom in separate indices by the Fraser Institute and the Heritage Foundation.
The Board of Investment Mauritius currently operates foreign offices in Paris and New Delhi and is also looking to open offices in London and Beijing.