2014 Index of Economic Freedom

Mauritius

overall score76.5
world rank8
Rule of Law

Property Rights65.0

Freedom From Corruption53.4

Limited Government

Government Spending81.8

Fiscal Freedom92.2

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom74.4

Labor Freedom78.0

Monetary Freedom76.7

Open Markets

Trade Freedom88.6

Investment Freedom85.0

Financial Freedom70.0

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 1.3 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $20.2 billion
    • 3.3% growth
    • 3.9% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $15,592 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 8.0%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 3.9%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $360.9 million
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Mauritius’s economic freedom score is 76.5, making its economy the 8th freest in the 2014 Index. Its overall score is 0.4 point lower than last year, with declines in investment freedom, property rights, and business freedom that outweigh improvements in labor freedom, freedom from corruption, and monetary freedom. Mauritius is ranked 1st out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

Mauritius was first graded in the 1999 Index, and its economic freedom score has advanced since then by 8 points. Improvements in six of the 10 categories of economic freedom include double-digit growth in scores for trade freedom, investment freedom, and fiscal freedom. Mauritius was ranked “mostly free” for the first time in 2009 and since 2012 has been rated one of the world’s 10 freest economies.

Mauritius is a regional leader in economic freedom. Efficient and transparent regulations underpin a dynamic entrepreneurial environment and support diversified economic development. An open trade regime and relatively well-protected property rights further bolster the island economy’s engagement in global commerce.

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Background

Independent since 1968, Mauritius has one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s strongest economies and is the only African country ranked as a “full democracy” in the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index. Navin Ramgoolam of the Mauritius Labour Party has been prime minister since 2005. The government is trying to encourage modernization of the sugar and textile industries while promoting diversification into such areas as information and communications technology, financial and business services, seafood processing, and exports. Services and tourism remain the economic drivers. The government still owns utilities and controls imports of rice, flour, petroleum products, and cement. Mauritius has made maritime security a priority and in 2012 signed a deal with Britain’s Royal Navy for the transfer of suspected pirates captured by Britain to Mauritius for prosecution.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights 65.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Freedom From Corruption 53.4 Create a Graph using this measurement

Mauritius’s reputation for transparency and accountability was damaged by scandal in the wake of arrests of two prominent government officials in 2011, as well as by allegations that the ruling party has used a government anti-corruption commission as a political tool. The judiciary continues to be independent, however, and the legal system is generally non-discriminatory and transparent.

Limited GovernmentView Methodology

The top individual income and corporate tax rates are 15 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT). The overall tax burden is equal to 18.3 percent of gross domestic income. Government expenditures are 25 percent of GDP. Public debt is steady at 50 percent of the domestic economy. Sound public financial management has prompted credit rating upgrades in the past year.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

Launching a business takes six procedures, and no minimum capital is required. However, completing licensing requirements remains time-consuming. Labor regulations are not rigid, and costs to terminate employment are relatively low. Recent budgets reflect a switch away from redistribution and state intervention and toward private-sector–led economic growth.

Open MarketsView Methodology

The average tariff rate for Mauritius is 0.7 percent, and there are few non-tariff barriers to trade. Purchases of land by foreign investors require government approval. The growing financial sector, dominated by private commercial banks, is competitive. The number of non-performing loans is declining, and banks continue to be well capitalized and resilient despite ongoing global financial turbulence.

Country's Score Over Time

Bar Graph of Mauritius Economic Freedom Scores Over a Time Period

Country Comparisons

Bar Graphs comparing Mauritius to other economic country groups

Regional Ranking

rank country overall change
1Mauritius76.5-0.4
2Botswana721.4
3Cape Verde66.12.4
4Rwanda64.70.6
5Ghana64.22.9
6South Africa62.50.7
7Madagascar61.7-0.3
8Swaziland61.24.0
9Zambia60.41.7
10Uganda59.9-1.2
11The Gambia59.50.7
12Namibia59.4-0.9
13Burkina Faso58.9-1.0
14Gabon57.80.0
15Tanzania57.8-0.1
16Côte d'Ivoire 57.73.6
17Kenya57.11.2
18Benin57.1-0.5
19Seychelles56.21.3
20Djibouti55.92.0
21Mali55.5-0.9
22Malawi55.40.1
23Senegal55.4-0.1
24Niger55.11.2
25Mozambique 550.0
26Nigeria54.3-0.8
27Guinea53.52.3
28Mauritania53.20.9
29Cameroon52.60.3
30Liberia52.43.1
31Burundi51.42.4
32Comoros51.43.9
33Guinea-Bissau51.30.2
34Sierra Leone50.52.2
35Ethiopia500.6
36Togo49.91.1
37Lesotho49.51.6
38São Tomé and Príncipe 48.80.8
39Angola47.70.4
40Central African Republic46.7-3.7
41Chad44.5-0.7
42Equatorial Guinea44.42.1
43Republic of Congo 43.70.2
44Democratic Republic of Congo40.61.0
45Eritrea38.52.2
46Zimbabwe35.56.9
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