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- GDP (PPP):
- $20.2 billion
- 3.3% growth
- 3.9% 5-year compound annual growth
- $15,592 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- FDI Inflow:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.