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Foreign Direct Investment

Mauritius is the fifth largest destination for FDI in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), after the Bahamas, Jamaica, Maldives and Barbados. According to UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2021, FDI flows to Mauritius have fallen by almost half in 2020, to USD 246 million from USD 471 million the year before, following the economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Investments in real estate, which generally account for the majority of inflows, suffered as a result of the pandemic. The decline was particularly visible in real estate investments from South Africa. The total stock of FDI stood at USD 5.7 billion in 2020. The main investors are the United States, India, the United Kingdom, the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong. Traditionally, the tourism sector attracts most of FDI, particularly the Integrated Resort Scheme, which deals with the construction of luxury villas, golf courses and other amenities in the resort areas. Other sectors that attract most FDIs are financial and insurance services and construction. Data from the Bank of Mauritius shows that in the first semester of 2021 gross direct investment flows were estimated at MUR 4,416 million, compared to MUR 6,451 million for the same corresponding period of 2020. The real estate sector accounted for nearly 79% of the total gross direct investment. In the same period, France accounted for 27.1% of total investments, followed by South Africa (23.2%) and the UAE (9.6%).

Mauritius aims to become an investment hub located midway between Africa and Asia. In recent years, the country's economic diplomacy has sought to create and strengthen partnerships with emerging countries (India, Turkey, etc.), while also offering technical assistance to several African countries. Agreements with Ghana, Senegal and Madagascar have been approved in order to create special economic zones (SEZ) in those countries and open niche markets for Mauritian exports. Only a few sectors are subject to restrictions, including television broadcasting (49.9% foreign ownership limit), sugar production (15%), newspaper or magazine publishing (20%); whereas in the tourism sector limitations are related to a minimum investment amount, the number of rooms, or the maximum equity participation (visit the Tourism Authority website for further information). In the construction sector, foreign consultants or contractors are required to register with the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB). In addition to the Government's incentives for investments (special economic zones, tax incentives, payment facilities, etc.), the country offers investors a stable economic and political environment, a solid judicial system, modern infrastructure, a stable financial system and a highly skilled and dynamic workforce. Corruption in the country is low by regional standards. According to the latest Doing Business ranking issued by the World Bank, Mauritius is the 13th most favourable country in terms of business environment out of 190 countries in the world (gaining seven positions compared to the previous year). The Heritage Foundation classifies Mauritius 30th worldwide in its 2022 Index of Economic Freedom ranking.

Foreign Direct Investment 201920202021
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 444225253
FDI Stock (million USD) 5,7805,6305,355
Number of Greenfield Investments* 1056
Value of Greenfield Investments (million USD) 2866974

Source: UNCTAD - Latest available data.

Note: * Greenfield Investments are a form of Foreign Direct Investment where a parent company starts a new venture in a foreign country by constructing new operational facilities from the ground up.

Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors Mauritius Sub-Saharan Africa United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 7.0 5.5 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 8.0 3.5 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 9.0 5.5 9.0 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action.