Mauritius: the ideal trading and business hub connecting Africa and Asia

Mauritius is the perfect place for businesses to establish a foothold in order to reach the African and Asian markets. Situated in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius has a thriving economy and offers a number of incentives for businesses, including tax holidays, easy company formation, no foreign exchange controls, and good infrastructure. Mauritius is well-connected to Africa and Asia by air and sea, making it the ideal business hub for these two regions.

Mauritius, a trading and business hub

Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean. It is a melting pot of cultures and religions, making it a very tolerant and welcoming place to do business. The official language is English, which makes communication easy, and the country has a well-developed infrastructure, including an excellent telecommunications system.

Mauritius has been making a name for itself as an ideal business hub in Africa, with a skilled workforce, a stable economy, and a developed infrastructure. Mauritius is a member of the COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) and the SADC (Southern African Development Community).

The Mauritian government is committed to making the country an attractive place for businesses to operate, and has put in place a number of incentives to encourage investment. These include tax holidays (subject to meeting certain requirements), a conducive business environment, import and export incentives, and strong and reliable investment policies, amongst others.

Businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit greatly from these Free Trade Agreements by making their products and/or services available to African and Asian markets, therefore enjoying economies of scale, trade gains, and market penetration, with the potential of reaching a market of over 3 billion people.


The benefits of setting up a company and doing business in Mauritius

Mauritius is a well-developed country with a stable economy and good infrastructure. The country has a low corporate tax rate of 15%, and there are no restrictions on foreign ownership.

Being a member of the COMESA, the SADC, and the African Continental Free Trade Area, in addition to agreements with Asian countries of China, India and Pakistan, Mauritius has preferential access to markets that account for at least 60% of global trade.

In addition, Mauritius boasts the following features:

  • 1st in the African continent for ease of doing business;
  • 13th globally for economic freedom;
  • Hybrid legal system, using the Common Law (English) and the Civil Law (French);
  • No Capital Gains Tax, no exchange control, and no Withholding Tax;
  • Strong network of Double Taxation Agreements;
  • No restrictions on trading; and
  • Strategic location at the confluence of Africa and Asia (GMT+4).

In Mauritius, management companies, such as Sunibel Corporate Services, can help you benefit from these advantages, and to set up your company in, and do business from, the island.


Taking advantage of these Free Trade Agreements

Mauritius represents a great opportunity for entrepreneurs, investors and businesspeople. The island is home to around 20,000 offshore companies.

For instance, setting up a Freeport company in Mauritius allows businesses to take advantage of the Freeport facilities (e.g. warehousing, processing, and distribution) in Mauritius for trading and shipment, and provides investors with the access to a cost-effective logistics platform with many advantages, which include:

  • 100% foreign ownership;
  • Free repatriation on profits
  • 50% discount on port handling charges;
  • Duty free on certain commodities and equipment;
  • Cost-efficient company formation and office accommodation; and
  • Wide-ranging banking services with the presence of international banks.

Since the Free Trade Agreements provide opportunities for investment, they also provide opportunities for private equity funds. Africa-focused fund managers to optimize their operations and save up to 31% by using Mauritius.


How to incorporate a company in Mauritius

To register a company in Mauritius, the following data needs to be provided to local authorities:

  • Company name if there is;
  • Nature of business;
  • Relevant Due Diligence documents;
  • Registered office address of business; and
  • Telephone number and email address.

Registering a company in Mauritius is a relatively easy process. It usually takes 3 working days to set up the company. However, the timeline and requirements needed to register a company depend on the type of company being registered. For instance, if you want to set up your regional headquarters in Mauritius, you must identify the appropriate company type for your activities, and obtain approval from the Financial Services Commission.


Investment and business opportunities in Mauritius

There are many opportunities when it comes to investing and doing business in Mauritius, in sectors such as:

  • Financial Services;
  • Information Communication Technology;
  • Real Estate;
  • Healthcare and pharmaceuticals;
  • Creative Industry;
  • Ocean Economy;
  • Hospitality;
  • Logistics & distribution services;
  • Agro-Industry;
  • Manufacturing; and
  • Renewable energy.


Why relocate to Mauritius

There are many reasons people want to relocate to Mauritius, which include:

  • secure and quality living environment;
  • simple and interesting fiscal regime;
  • conducive investment and business ecosystem;
  • diversified economy and political stability; and
  • popular and competitive tourism destination.

Mauritius is a popular destination for foreigners, who come to live, work and invest here. The Mauritian government actively encourages skilled entrepreneurs, talented professionals, and their families to relocate and work in Mauritius. Additionally, the Mauritian passport is one of the most powerful amongst African countries according to Henley Passport Index. Mauritius also has a Residence-by-Investment Program, making it easier for investors to obtain residency through property investment.