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- GDP (PPP):
- $24.6 billion
- 3.4% growth
- 3.5% 5-year compound annual growth
- $19,509 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- FDI Inflow:
An efficient and transparent regulatory environment supports relatively broad-based economic development in Mauritius, and competitive tax rates and a fairly flexible labor code facilitate private-sector growth. The open trade and investment regime is underpinned by relatively well-protected property rights and a nondiscriminatory legal system.
Privatization of state-owned monopolies has slowed, but the state does not play an overwhelming role in the economy, minimizing the drag on dynamic business activity. Corruption is relatively rare. Public financial management is generally sound, and a law requires that government debt must be reduced to below 50 percent of GDP by 2018.
Independent since 1968, Mauritius is the only African country to be ranked a “full democracy” by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Sir Anerood Jugnauth became prime minister for the third time in December 2014, 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 modernize the sugar and textile industries while promoting diversification into such areas as information technology and financial and business services. Services and tourism remain the main economic drivers. Maritime security is a priority, and the government signed a deal with Britain’s Royal Navy in 2012 to transfer suspected pirates to Mauritius for prosecution.
Property rights are respected, but enforcement of intellectual property laws is relatively weak. The judiciary continues to be independent, and the legal system is generally nondiscriminatory and transparent. In 2016, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index reported a slight improvement in the country’s institutions, which are among the strongest in Africa. The government prosecutes corruption, albeit inconsistently.
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 amounted to 24.9 percent of total output (GDP) over the past three years, and budget deficits have averaged 3.4 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 58.1 percent of GDP.
The overall regulatory framework has undergone a series of reforms aimed at facilitating entrepreneurial activity in recent years. Labor regulations are relatively flexible. The Economist Intelligence Unit reports that transfers to state-owned enterprises and poorly targeted welfare benefits will continue to consume considerable fiscal resources and that implementation of state-owned enterprise reforms will be slow.
Trade is extremely important to the economy of Mauritius; the value of exports and imports taken together equals 109 percent of GDP. The average applied tariff rate is 0.6 percent, and there are few nontariff barriers to trade. Foreign investment in some sectors is restricted. The financial sector remains competitive, and its contribution to GDP has risen steadily. Private banks dominate the sector and allocate credit on market terms.