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- GDP (PPP):
- $20.9 billion
- 3.1% growth
- 3.5% 5-year compound annual growth
- $16,056 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- FDI Inflow:
Mauritius’s economic freedom score is 76.4, making its economy the 10th freest in the 2015 Index. Its overall score is essentially unchanged from last year, with a negative score change of 0.1 point reflecting a significant decline in labor freedom that overshadows gains in the control of government spending, business freedom, and monetary freedom. Mauritius is ranked 1st out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan African region, and it scores well above the regional and global averages.
Adherence to stable fiscal policy and openness to global trade and investment have established Mauritius as one of the world’s 10 freest economies. Since 2007, Mauritius has led the Sub-Saharan Africa region in economic freedom.
Economic development in Mauritius has been facilitated by a stable macroeconomic environment, prudent policy decisions, and openness to competition. Adoption of open-market policies has been accompanied by the development of growing financial and tourism sectors that have helped to supplant traditional subsistence agriculture. The rule of law has been enforced effectively within a framework of transparency and accountability, although corruption remains a concern.
Independent since 1968, Mauritius is the only African country ranked as a “full democracy” in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index. Navin Ramgoolam of the Mauritius Labour Party has been prime minister since 2005, and Rajkeswur Purryag has been president since 2012. 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 for the transfer of suspected pirates captured by Britain to Mauritius for prosecution. Both Mauritius and Seychelles claim control of the Chagos Islands, administered by Britain and home to a U.S. military base.
A generally positive reputation for transparency and accountability has been hurt by several high-profile scandals. Critics allege, for example, that in its August 2013 investigation of the minister of higher education, the government’s anti-corruption commission was used as a political tool. The judiciary continues to be independent, however, and the legal system is generally non-discriminatory and transparent.
The top individual and corporate income tax rates in Mauritius are 15 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax. The overall tax burden amounts to about 18.9 percent of the size of the domestic economy. Government expenditures equal about 20.5 percent of domestic output, and public debt is equivalent to about 54 percent of gross domestic product.
No minimum capital is required to start a business, and the start-up process has been simplified. The labor market remains relatively flexible, but the mismatch between demand for and supply of labor persists. Inflation is well controlled, and the government is trying to promote private sector–led economic growth, but it needs to make more progress in reducing subsidies.
Mauritius has an average tariff rate of 0.8 percent and has cut tariffs unilaterally. The government generally welcomes foreign investment, although new investment is subject to review. The competitive financial system provides a range of financing tools. Banking is resilient and open to competition. The Stock Exchange of Mauritius is considered one of the most innovative in the region.