There is more to Mauritius than tourism and the public perception of the island nation being used for money laundering and financial ‘round tripping’.
It boasts of a strong manufacturing sector that contributes as much 17 per cent of the GDP (gross domestic product), while the share of tourism is seven per cent, and it offers a range of opportunities for investors.
Manufacturing apart, it is keen on attracting more investments in education, healthcare and emerging areas such as biotech and renewable energy.
This was the message that senior director, board of investment, Mauritius, Shamima Mallam Hassam, sought to highlight in an interaction organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with a trade delegation from the African nation on Tuesday.
Delivering a presentation, Ms. Hassam said precision engineering in the field of medical devices, technical textiles, original equipment manufacturing and instrumentation besides pharmaceuticals were some of the focus areas in the manufacturing sector. The country, she added, was keen to attract more investments in education, healthcare, biotech and the seafood/ocean industry.
At the foundation of this emphasis to make the most of Mauritius’ status as a gateway to Africa was the ‘conducive and competitive environment’ and investor-friendly measures of the government.
These include a review of the taxation system and labour laws, she said, adding that since Mauritius was part of trading blocs and entered into free and preferential trade agreements it could serve as an export base to various parts of the world.
Its membership in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) meant opened doors to a market of 600 million people.
Honorary Consul of Mauritius, Ravi Raman, and chairman of CII, Chennai zone, S. Sridharan, participated in the meeting.