As Mauritius and India have long established investment relations, policymakers in the island-nation are suggesting that Indian investors route future business deals through the country. Deemed as the ‘Anglophone Africa’ and Francophone gateway into the continent, Mauritius is gearing up to present the country as the perfect foreign investment routing platform, according to Zee News.
“We have recently seen an enormous increase in the number of global business companies being incorporated in Mauritius and targeting Africa,” Marc Hein, Financial Services Commission (Mauritius’ integrated financial sector regulator) Chairman, said in the report.
Countries that would potentially benefit from routing investments through Mauritius include Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, and Nigeria — where large English speaking populations are prevalent. In West and Central Africa, Djibouti and Madagascar, business ventures within the African Francophone community are likely to blossom, Zee News reported.
Mauritius, Hein says, is an ideal platform for India’s foreign direct investments (FDI) because of the many languages — including Hindi — spoken throughout the country. In addition, the routing set-up would correlate with the already established Mauritius-India business ties.
“As Africa continues to attract attention of global investors, traders and private equities, we see an increasingly important role for Mauritius to play as the ideal and preferred gateway and access centre to the continent,” Board of Investments (BOI) Director Shamima Mallam Hassam, said in the report. BOI acts as the Mauritian government’s “investment promotion agency,” according to Zee News.
“To boost the attractiveness of Mauritius as a manufacturing and trading platform for Africa, the government has introduced a new measure whereby manufacturing companies which are producing in Mauritius for exports to Africa can enjoy Freeport Company status, thus benefit of the duty free and quota free market access to Africa,” she continued.
Zee News reported that Mauritius would like to help guide new Indian investment companies into Africa by overlooking and growing returns while managing risk. For companies that have yet to invest abroad, Mauritius officials and policymakers are hoping to encourage international business.