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Sector-specific opportunities

There are abundant opportunities for UK business to get involved in sectors such as education/knowledge economy, financial services/fintech, infrastructure/smart cities, seafood and aquaculture/ocean economy, renewable energies and environment.

Niche activities such as in the creative industries, marinas and film-making, healthcare and medical travel, hospitality/property development/smart cities, information technology and business process outsourcing, logistics and distribution services, manufacturing and light engineering are also being considered.

 

Research

You should carry out as much market research and planning as possible before exporting to Mauritius, using both desk research and visits to the market. You need to determine if there is a market for your product or service and whether your pricing is competitive.

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

DIT provides free international export sales leads from its worldwide network. Find export opportunities in Mauritius at: https://opportunities.export.great.gov.uk/.

 

Government tenders in Mauritius

The Mauritius Procurement Policy Office is responsible for public procurement. Their site at: http://ppo.govmu.org/English/Pages/default.aspx includes bidding documents. Successful foreign bidders often choose to work with local partners when bidding for major contracts

If you choose to have your tender bids submitted by a domestic company or consultant, you should check with DIT in Mauritius first, at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-mauritius#contact-us for assistance and information about third-party advisers.

 

Education and training

Providing all the facilities and amenities of a modern knowledge hub, Mauritius is today a leading provider of quality education in the region. The Economic Vision 2030 elaborates the ambition of the Government to revamp the higher education sector and to transform it into a strong pillar of the economy.

This will require improving the relevance of university studies to produce a quality labour force which will meet labour market demands and reduce the existing skills mismatch.

The tertiary education sector has developed rapidly in Mauritius. There are over 35 UK universities and awarding bodies offering UK qualifications in Mauritius. The government intends to make Mauritius a hub for UK tertiary learning institutions throughout the rest of Africa. The brand new Middlesex campus on the island is testimony to that.

Opportunities exist for UK education providers for:

  • continuous professional development for practitioners consultancy in the development of relevant educational/training programmes

  • provision of tailor made programmes for industry, e.g. career bridge programmes for the financial services sector, biotechnology, transport management among others

  • articulation or franchise agreements

Investment opportunities also exist for the setting up of:

  • world-class international pre-primary, primary and secondary schools

  • polytechnic institutes

  • specialised institutions/university campuses offering courses in fields such as maritime, renewable energy, ocean economy, biotechnology, biofarming, life sciences, fintech,cloud computing, robotics, amongst others

  • research centres

  • executive education

  • academies

Contact: deeptee.bungaree-gooheeram@fco.gov.uk for more information about the opportunities in the education and training sector.

[Source – DIT/gov.uk]

 

Financial services

Mauritius has over the last decade built itself as an advantageous, safe and trusted location for the conduct of business. Furthermore, it has embraced the highest standards of international practice that have made it among the most open and competitive economies in the world and offers a tax neutral environment for international business. Strategically located in the Indian Ocean at the crossroad of international investments, Mauritius has forged a strong reputation as a premier international financial centre.

At 11.9%, the contribution of the financial services sector to the gross domestic product is significant for the country, and is one of the most important pillars for the Mauritian economy. At the same time, the landscape of the financial services sector is changing due to international reforms in the taxation, including from the OECD.

In order to enhance Mauritius as a jurisdiction of reputation and substance, key measures were announced in order to safeguard the reputation of Mauritius as an International Financial Centre and also to open the economy further for prospective investors.

Below are the key measures which have been announced in the Budget 2017-2018:

  • A blueprint will be devised by the Ministry of Financial Services, Good Governance and Institutional Reforms together with the Economic Development Board, the Bank of Mauritius, the Financial Service Commission and all key stakeholders in the financial services sector. The vision for the blueprint is for the sector to further adopt and meet international requirements on taxation over the next 10 years.

  • Global business companies holding a category one licence (“GBC1”) will move away from merely fulfilling one of the six licensing criteria regulated by the Financial Services Commission. Moving forward, such GBC1 companies must now look to satisfy at least two of the six licensing criteria.

  • The tax requirements for global business companies will be reformed in order to align to international standards.

  • The legal obligations pertaining to special purpose funds will be aligned with GBC1 companies.

  • The Stock Exchange of Mauritius, in collaboration with Euroclear, will have to transform the local bond market and set up an international capital market to attract African companies and governments.

  • In order to benefit from the fintech revolution, the Economic Development Board will establish a Regional Fintech Association. The Financial Services Commission will develop the necessary legislation for fintech.

  • Capital standards for banks will be increased from Rs 200 million to Rs 400 million. Banks will have 2 years to adjust, and the Banking Act 2004 will be amended accordingly.

  • In a bid to extend monitoring on money laundering in Mauritius, specific mention is made of the nexus between the drug trade and illegal gambling. Amendments to the Gambling Regulatory Authority Act are to be made, whereby cash betting transactions above Rs 2,000 are to be banned, and licensees/operators earning more than Rs 10 million are to be required to file suspicious transactions reports.

Hence, the measures announced purport to enhance the financial services landscape in Mauritius, by striving to build resilience against global uncertainties and represent a gateway to opportunities on an international level. Moreover, the measures pertaining to the financial services provide a road map towards greater stringency. It is clear that the financial services sector lends itself towards a people strategy namely in employment creation and growth.

Opportunities for UK companies exist in:

  • private banking

  • investment and cross border investment

  • captive insurance

  • derivative trading

  • Islamic banking

  • international arbitration

Contact: deeptee.bungaree-gooheeram@fco.gov.uk for more information about the opportunities in the financial services sector. 

[Source – DIT/gov.uk]

 

Infrastructure and smart cities

Mauritius’ infrastructure projects include:

  • £240 million road infrastructure investment as part of a road decongestion programme

  • £80 million social housing investment with construction of 10,000 units

  • smart city projects

An estimated £2.2 billion investment will be made in 13 smart city ‘mega projects’. Each smart city will be a large scale development which is self-sufficient in energy and water. It will also have its own integrated smart modern transportation.

These infrastructure projects offer opportunities for UK companies in:

  • consulting

  • design

  • project management

  • sale of appropriate technology and equipment

  • PPP expertise

The Smart City Scheme is an ambitious economic development programme aimed at consolidating the Mauritian international business and financial hub by creating ideal conditions for working, living and spurring investment through the development of smart cities across the island.

The development of smart cities in Mauritius is opening up a plethora of opportunities for UK businesses in:

  • a mix of commercial, leisure and residential uses that, as a whole, achieves physical and functional integration and creates a pedestrian-orientated urban environment

  • a combination of office, light industrial, education, medical and tourism clusters

  • high technology and innovation cluster

  • infrastructure to service green-field sites with roads and inspiring landscaping

  • clean technology aimed at carbon and waste reduction, efficient transport

  • low-energy-consumption buildings

  • digital solutions, urban sensing technologies and big data analytics

  • energy production and water management and utilities

  • high-end residential estate

  • real estate investment management

Contact: deeptee.bungaree-gooheeram@fco.gov.uk for more information about the opportunities in the infrastructure sector.

For more information on incentives for developing and investing in a project under the Smart City Scheme, check the EDB website: http://www.edbmauritius.org/schemes/smart-city-scheme/.

[Source – DIT/gov.uk]

 

Ocean economy

Mauritius has a large exclusive economic zone of 2.3 million km2 and a continental shelf of around 396,000 km2 which is co-managed with the Republic of the Seychelles.

The ‘ocean economy’ has been highlighted as an important pillar strategy to diversify the economy, generating wealth and jobs – see: http://www.edbmauritius.org/opportunities/ocean-economy/ for further information. The direct contribution of this sector to the GDP is expected to be around 20% by 2025. Around £1 billion PPP investment is expected between 2016 and 2020.

There are plans to transform the Port Louis harbour from a destination port to a regional hub. By 2025, container traffic in the port is expected to double and to exceed 1 million TEU. The port has the potential for a double-digit contribution to GDP in the long-term compared to the 3% it contributes at present.

It is expected that high value opportunities for UK businesses in fields of consultancy, training and design will open up in projects like:

  • extension of the port area

  • infrastructure work to accommodate larger container vessels

  • a full-fledged marina

  • bunkering activities

The ocean economy also offers opportunities in:

  • seabed exploration for hydrocarbons and minerals

  • fishing, seafood processing and aquaculture*

  • deep ocean water applications

  • ocean knowledge

  • marine finance and information communications technology (ICT)

  • marine services

  • seaport-related activities

  • marine renewable energies

(* for aquaculture specific sector)

Investment/business opportunities

Situated in one of the world’s cleanest oceans, Mauritius offers investment/business opportunities in:

  • lagoon cage culture with a production range of 300 to 500 tonnes per production unit

  • offshore lagoon cage culture with an approximate production capacity of 2,000 tonnes per production unit

  • inland aquaculture farms

  • tuna ranching and fattening in cages

  • hi-tech production techniques such as aqua pods

Contact: deeptee.bungaree-gooheeram@fco.gov.uk for more information about the opportunities in the ocean economy sector.

[Source – DIT/gov.uk]

 

Power/renewable energy

The government has launched a renewable energy programme and established the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA). Mauritius aims to raise the share of renewable energy in the electricity generation mix to 35% or higher by 2025.

Electricity production from renewable sources such as municipal waste recycling, solar and wind energy will be used to reduce carbon emissions and reliance on non-renewable sources.

Various such projects operate on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis providing electricity to the national grid. 248 MW out of the 2,600 MW electricity consumed in 2015 were produced from renewable sources. The government intends to increase this share to some 900 MW in the coming years.

Opportunities for UK companies exist in:

  • wind energy

  • solar energy

  • biomass energy

  • marine renewable energies

  • waste to energy

R&D in renewable energy

The micro-climate generated by the unique topology of Mauritius, its attractive investment climate and existing research institutions working on renewable energy projects, are the key assets of Mauritius as a test base for R&D projects that can be replicated on a regional scale. Moreover opportunities for collaboration exist for the use of the waters of Mauritius as a test base for  marine renewable energy projects.

Other transformational energy projects

  • Deep Ocean Water Applications (DOWA) that exploit deep sea water currents for cooling and other uses

  • geothermal energy, currently under study, taps into the potential of heat generated by the earth

  • offshore wind farms which, following preliminary results by the Mauritius Research Council, demonstrate the potential for large scale developments in the waters of Mauritius and Rodrigues

  • offshore wave farms demonstrating conclusive results following preliminary studies by the Mauritius Research Council

Contact: deeptee.bungaree-gooheeram@fco.gov.uk for more information about the opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

[Source – DIT/gov.uk]

 

Other budding sectors where opportunities exist for UK businesses:

Healthcare

The healthcare sector in Mauritius has metamorphosed itself into an integrated cluster underpinned by a core group of high-value activities such as hi-tech medicine, medical tourism, medical education and wellness. Global healthcare companies have invested in multi-specialty and super-specialty centres of excellence to cater for the growing healthcare needs of both national and international patients.

There are opportunities for the setting up of:

  • multi-specialty and super-specialty centres

  • specialised diabetes research and treatment centres

  • specialised centres for elderly care and rehabilitative medicine

  • specialised centres for novel treatments stem-cell therapies

  • plastic reconstructive surgery clinics

  • clinics for dental surgery and dento-facial orthopaedics

  • convalescence and pain clinics providing specialised care to patients suffering from acute and chronic conditions

  • wellness centres and health resorts

Attractiveness for Mauritius as a medical hub:

  • highly-trained personnel with globally recognised qualifications

  • state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities

  • encouraging joint-ventures/alliances with firms of international repute

 

Medical travel

The medical tourism industry in Mauritius has witnessed a sustained growth over the last years. The Mauritian private healthcare sector now boasts state-of-the-art facilities and highly-qualified personnel providing comprehensive high-end medical care which has enabled Mauritius to position itself as a leading destination for medical travel.

 

Life sciences

Mauritius has, over the recent years, experienced growth in various fields of life sciences. The sector has tremendous opportunities in:

  • pharmaceuticals

  • medical devices

  • clinical research

  • agricultural biotechnology

  • marine biotechnology


 

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