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Preparing to export

Consultation and bespoke research

Visit: https://www.great.gov.uk/ for guidance on how to research overseas markets as well as a range of other important issues for exporters.

Researching the Mauritian market

Good local research is needed and you should consider market-entry requirements using both desk research and market visits.

You need to determine whether:

  • there is a market for your product or service

  • your pricing is competitive

  • to adapt your business model

The questions listed here should help you to focus your thoughts. Your answers to them will highlight areas for further research and also suggest a way forward that is right for your company. You may then want to use this as a basis for developing a formal Mauritius strategy, although this may not be necessary or appropriate for all companies:

Your aims:

  • Do you wish to buy from Mauritius, sell to Mauritius or both?

  • Do you wish to establish your own company presence in Mauritius (for example setting up your own incorporated company, or direct sales, appointing a local agent, online selling or franchising)?

  • Do you need to be involved in Mauritius at all?

  • Do you see Mauritius as part of a wider plan including e.g. other African or South Asian markets now or in the future?

Your company:

  • Can you carry out a detailed SWOT analysis of your company?

  • Are your competitors already in Mauritius? If so, what are they doing?

  • Can you carry out a detailed SWOT analysis of your competitors?

  • What are the unique selling points (USP) of your product or service?

  • Do you know if there is a market for your product or service in Mauritius?

  • Do you know if you can be competitive in Mauritius?

  • Do you have the time and resources to handle e.g. the demands of communication, travel, product delivery and after-sales service?

Your knowledge:

  • Do you know how to secure payment for your products or services?

  • Do you know where in Mauritius you should start?

  • Do you know how to locate and screen potential partners, agents or distributors?

  • Have you carried out any Mauritius-specific customer segmentation, and do you know how to best reach potential customers in-market?

It is unlikely that you will have answers to all these questions at the outset and these ‘knowledge gaps’ could form the basis for further research and investigation. Some of these questions may require quantitative research in your sector, while others involve more-qualitative contextual and cultural considerations.


Talking to other people in your industry and regularly visiting Mauritius will give you access to the most-current advice, and such experience can often lead to new insights and form the basis for further research. 

There is also some useful guidance on developing a marketing strategy, customer segmentation, competitor and SWOT analysis, etc. on the https://www.great.gov.uk/ site – and the IOE&IT can help too.

There may be trade shows held in Mauritius which could be useful to test product viability in the market. The Department for International Trade’s (DIT’s) Tradeshow Access Programme at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tradeshow-access-programme provides funding in the form of grants for eligible businesses to attend overseas trade shows.

The funding helps your business gain:

  • market knowledge

  • experience in attending and getting the most from overseas trade shows

  • advice and support from trade experts

Visit the DIT events portal at: https://events.trade.gov.uk/ to find if there are any suitable upcoming events and missions in Mauritius.

Find out more about marketing your goods and services for Mauritius at: https://www.great.gov.uk/.

Contact DIT in Mauritius at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-mauritius#contact-us for events and company launches at British Embassy locations.

 

Start-up considerations

Visit: www.great.gov.uk for guidance on how to research overseas markets as well as a range of other important issues for exporters.

Getting started in the Mauritian market

All businesses have to be registered and incorporated with the Corporate and Business Registration Department, see: http://companies.govmu.org/English/Pages/default.aspx. The proposed company name must be verified prior to registration and incorporation to avoid duplication

The types of companies which can be incorporated are:

  • company limited by shares

  • company limited by guarantee

  • company limited by shares and guarantee

  • unlimited company

  • foreign company

  • limited life company

A company incorporated in Mauritius can be 100% foreign owned with no minimum capital.

You must pay a trade fee with your respective local authority within 15 days of the start of operations.

You should seek legal advice as the tax and legal obligations of each business structure can differ.

A local lawyer can help you to avoid costly mistakes and ensure you start out in the way that is best suited to your sector of activity. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mauritius-list-of-lawyers for a list of lawyers in Mauritius.

You should conduct due diligence checks once you have chosen your method of entry into the market. However, if you want to establish a business relationship that goes beyond exporting, you will need to carry out further research.

Direct exports and sales

Direct exports means you supply your products direct to the customer. You handle all the logistics of marketing, selling, sending overseas and getting paid.

You may wish to use local representation. Options include using an agent, distributor or wholesaler.

The DIT’s trade specialists at: https://www.gov.uk/overseas-customers-export-opportunities can help you identify local representatives for your products in Mauritius.

Appointing an agent, distributor or importer

A foreign company will often appoint one or more agents or distributors. They can keep track of market regulations, which can change at short notice.

You should spend time taking local advice and assessing a range of potential agents before making a choice.

DIT in Mauritius can help you identify and meet potential agents and distributors. See: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-mauritius#contact-us.

Online selling

Find out about DIT’s E-Exporting programme at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/e-exporting, which can help you export your products to Mauritius.

Check out online marketplaces in Mauritius at: https://selling-online-overseas.export.great.gov.uk/, where DIT has negotiated listings at better-than-commercial rates.

Franchising

Franchising in Mauritius is primarily in the fast-food sector.

Contact DIT in Port Louis at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-mauritius#contact-us for further information, and advice on franchise opportunities in Mauritius.

Visit the international section of the British Franchise Association at: http://www.thebfa.org/international for more information on franchising.

 

Financial considerations

Getting finance to fulfil an export contract

Globally, Mauritius ranks 25th out of 190 economies in the World Bank’s “Doing Business – Ease of Getting Credit” report 2017-18. See: http://www.doingbusiness.org/data/exploreeconomies/mauritius.

To make it easier to fulfil an export contract and grow your business, schemes are available to UK companies selling products and services to Mauritius. Contact your bank or specialist financial organisation for assistance.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has risk capacity to support exports to Mauritius. See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/country-cover-policy-and-indicators#mauritius. You can contact one of UKEF’s export finance advisers at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/find-an-export-finance-manager for free and impartial advice on your finance options.

Getting paid

You may wish to talk to a specialist about finance, including how to get paid in Mauritius. This could be a bank, an accountant or you can contact DIT in Mauritius at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-mauritius#contact-us for help to find a financial adviser in Mauritius.


 

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