Mauritius Business Services Overview
Setting up a business in Mauritius
Taxation Living & Working in Mauritius
Mauritius, an island covering 1,865km2 is situated some 2,000 kilometres off the south east coast of
Africa. More than 150 kilometres of white sandy beaches and transparent lagoon are protected from the
open sea by the world’s third largest coral reef which almost surrounds the island.
Being of volcanic origin, Mauritius has a central plateau which is about 400 metres above the sea level.
Mountains scattered throughout the island, fast flowing rivers, tropical forests and plants are other
features that add to the natural beauty of the island. Mauritius enjoys a maritime sub-tropical climate.
The summer season lasts from October to May with temperatures averaging 27°C, while in the winter
months temperature average 22°C. The topography of Mauritius makes the central plateau more humid
and cooler than the other regions.
The Dutch were the first settlers on the island in 1598 and named it after their ruler, Prince Maurice Van
Nassau. It was under the French Governor, Mahé de Labourdonnais, that Mauritius experienced its first development: a harbour was built at Port Louis (which became the capital of Mauritius) being the safest
harbour for vessels on their way to India. The British captured the island in 1810, during the Napoleonic
wars and remained in power until independence on 12th March 1968 at which time Mauritius adopted
a constitution based on the British Parliamentary system. On 12 March 1992 Mauritius became a
Republic and it continues to form part of the British Commonwealth.
Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low income, agriculturally based economy
to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. For most
of the period, annual growth has been of the order of 5% to 6%. The government’s development strategy
centres on foreign investment. Mauritius has attracted more than 32,000 offshore entities, many aimed
at commerce in India and South Africa, and investment in the banking sector alone has reached over
$1 billion. Mauritius, with its strong textile sector, has been well poised to take advantage of the Africa
Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Mauritius’ sound economic policies and prudent banking practices
helped to mitigate negative effects from the global financial crisis in 2008-09. GDP grew more than 4%
per year in 2010-11, and the country continues to expand its trade and investment outreach around
The legal system of the Republic of Mauritius derives from both French and English sources. During the
French rule (1715 until 1810) the Island’s system was governed by the French Napoleonic Code which
remained in force under the British rule with subsequent amendments in civil and criminal procedural
laws and company law. Mauritius, therefore, enjoys a hybrid legal system combining both the civil and
common law practices. Though being a Republic, Mauritius still remains a member of the Commonwealth
and the right of appeal to the Privy Council is preserved.
The Republic of Mauritius, a presidential democracy modelled on the British system of parliamentary
democracy, guarantees the separation of the legislative, executive and judicial powers.
The President is the head of state and Commander-in-Chief, while the Prime Minister has full executive
power and is the head of Government. The sixty-two members of the National Assembly are elected
every five years by universal adult suffrage. All major political parties are represented, reflecting the
depth of democracy prevailing in Mauritius. Parliament is the legislative authority in Mauritius.
The population of the Island is approximately 1,313,000 made up principally by people of European,
African, Indian and Chinese origin Mauritius takes pride in the fact that these different cultures co-exist
in peace and succeed in creating a cultural entity that is distinctly Mauritian.