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- GDP (PPP):
- $23.4 billion
- 3.2% growth
- 3.5% 5-year compound annual growth
- $18,553 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- FDI Inflow:
Mauritius continues to be a regional leader in economic freedom. The small island economy benefits greatly from a sound and transparent legal framework that institutionalizes and supports the rule of law. Fiscal policy has recently been more expansionary than planned, but the overall deficit and public debt remain manageable.
Economic Freedom Snapshot
- 2016 Economic Freedom Score: 74.7 (down 1.7 points)
- Economic Freedom Status: Mostly Free
- Global Ranking: 15th
- Regional Ranking: 1st in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Notable Successes: Open Markets and Regulatory Efficiency
- Concerns: Property Rights and Labor Freedom
- Overall Score Change Since 2012: –2.3
Independent since 1968, Mauritius is the only African country ranked as a “full democracy” by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Sir Anerood Jugnauth was appointed prime minister in December 2014, the third time he has held the position, and Ameenah Gurib-Fakim was elected to the presidency in June 2015, the first woman to hold the largely ceremonial role. 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 main economic drivers. Mauritius has made maritime security a priority and in 2012 signed a deal with Britain’s Royal Navy to transfer suspected pirates to Mauritius for prosecution. Both Mauritius and the United Kingdom claim control of the Chagos Islands, administered by the U.K. and home to a U.S. military base.
Since the current government came to power in December 2014, it has been accused of using an anti-corruption drive to retaliate against members and backers of the former administration (for example, by issuing an arrest warrant in 2015 for the director of public prosecutions). The judiciary continues to be independent, however, and the legal system is generally non-discriminatory and transparent. Property rights are respected.
The personal income and corporate tax rates are a flat 15 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax. The overall tax burden equals 18.6 percent of total domestic income. Government spending has increased to 24.9 percent of GDP. The budget deficit has been under control, and public debt continues to hover around 50 percent of total domestic output.
With no minimum capital requirements, the overall start-up process has been simplified. Launching a business takes five procedures and six days on average. Licensing requirements still take over 100 days to complete. Labor regulations are not rigid, and costs to terminate employment are relatively low. In 2015, India announced new subsidies to Mauritius in the form of $500 million in concessional loans for infrastructure development.
The average tariff rate for Mauritius is a low 0.7 percent, and both tariff and non-tariff trade barriers have been unilaterally reduced. The government screens new investment, but most sectors of the economy are open to foreign investment. 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.