Mauritius Investment Flows Tail Off Despite Record-High Dealsby
Approved 68 billion rupees of FDI in 2015 for next 5 years
Actual flows shrunk by 40 percent in first quarter of 2015
Mauritius is adjusting its investment promotion strategy after flows in 2015 slowed despite the government signing a record 68 billion rupees ($1.9 billion) for projects over the next five years, according to the country’s investment agency.
The economy received 4.76 billion rupees of FDI in the first quarter of 2015, nearly 40 percent less that what it attracted in the same period a year earlier, according Bank of Mauritius data. The nation is targeting higher investment to shore up activity, which has been sluggish following global economic woes, according to Board of Investment Chairman Gerard Sanspeur.
“The BOI is reviewing all its investment promotion strategy with more targeted actions while being even closer to our key markets with the opening of new BOI offices in our embassies in France, India and South Africa,” he said in an interview in the capital, Port Louis on Monday. “We wish to promote, as a priority, investments that meet certain requirements, such as the use of new high value added technologies that use innovation and creativity.”
The $12 billion island economy has signed several agreements -- such as non-double taxation deals -- with other African nations to promote investment from the region, said Sanspeur, who’s also a senior adviser at the finance ministry.
As a result of 27 agreements reached with investment promotion agencies across the continent, 80 Mauritian companies are operating from special economic zones in countries such as Senegal. In Madagascar alone, which is also an Indian Ocean island, there are 100 Mauritian enterprises. The BOI is helping with the implementation of four major investment projects in Kenya and Mozambique this year, Sanspeur said.
The economy grew by 3.1 percent in 2015, according to the national statistics agency, the slowest since in 2009. Statistics Mauritius projects expansion of 3.9 percent this year.
“Several projects are already under way and the rapid implementation of these many projects should help us surpass the 4 percent in 2016, if conditions are appropriate and that the whole nation is working in the same direction,” Sanspeur said.