Mauritius opens its doors to SA investors

2013-03-05 00:00

MAURITIUS, an island nation on the Indian Ocean, opened its doors yesterday for SA investors and individuals who want to start up their own businesses in that country.

At a presentation attended by businesspeople, government officials and academics at the Hilton Hotel in Durban, it was revealed that opportunities existed for South Africans to participate in the Mauritian economy.

Various sectors such as financial services, technology, agriculture, hospitality and manufacturing, retail and transport and logistics were identified by Ken Poonoosamy, the managing director of the Board of Investment Mauritius as suitable industries to engage with.

According to Poonoosamy, SA and Mauritius were both stable countries, with a strategic role in the Southern African Development Community and the rest of Africa.

“SA and Mauritius have a special trade investment relationship. We have been able to adapt to the tough economic climate over the past four years,” he said.

Despite the global economic crisis, Mauritius has still experienced an annual growth rate of 45%, said Poonoosamy.

Also, the country does not require a minimum capital requirement, so businesses can be foreign owned.

In addition, the red tape associated with starting a business in Mauritius has been cleared. Since 2006, various processes such as needing a police clearance and other government-inflicted red tape has been done away with.

He claimed that a simple registration process takes about 30 minutes to complete, and title deeds for companies are easy to access.

Logan Govender, a lecturer in the faculty of management at the University of KwaZulu-Natal said the revelations at the forum were a great opportunity for South Africans to consider.

“People only know of Mauritius as a holiday destination and we need to look beyond that,” he said.

Nirode Bramdaw the honorary consul of Mauritius based in KwaZulu-Natal said the current delegation would present similar cases in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The presentations will also demonstrate to investors the opportunities available to access the Mauritian market and how it could lead to accessing other markets in the SADC region.

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