Mauritius, a small island off Africa’s south-east coast in the Indian Ocean, is the fastest growing wealth market in Africa and one of the five fastest-growing wealth markets worldwide. “The Mauritian economy recorded actual growth of 3.7% in 2015, up from the 3.6% recorded in 2014 and is projected to grow by 3.8% in 2016 and 4.0% in 2017 on the back of stronger domestic and external demand,’ as reported by African Economic Outlook.
According to a KPMG report, the World Bank and International Finance Corporation Doing Business Report of 2012 listed Mauritius as the easiest place to do business in Africa, considering availability of electricity, how easy it is to register property, what investor protection is available, what taxes are involved, how effectively contracts are enforced, how insolvency is resolved, whether construction permits are difficult to obtain, as well as the other complexity involved in starting a business and employing workers.’
“The number of United States dollar millionaires living in Mauritius has increased by 340% since 2000, to reach 3200 in 2015, and this number is expected to rise by another 130% over the next 10 years, reaching 7400 by 2025, making it the fastest growing African market for millionaires over this period. Even more impressively, since the “so-called’ peak before the financial crises (the end of 2007), millionaires number in Mauritius have risen by 160% which makes Mauritius one of the top five performing markets in the world over this period,” as stated in the New World Wealth Investment Review. However, the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report ranked Mauritius as the best performing economy in Africa and 46th out of 140 economies.
Economic growth rate in 2015 was motivated by the information and communications technology and by the financial and insurance sectors, which grew by 6.3% and 5.6% respectively. These gains were partially set-off by the poor performance of the construction sector, which incurred 5.4% over the same period.
The government’s fiscal stance in 2015 remained expansionary, with the budget deficit increasing to 4.4%, from 4.65%, taking into account the slow pace of growth and subdued inflation levels. Inflation pressure in the domestic economy were generally low on account of crushed food prices and declining international commodity prices. Inflation stood at 1.3% in December 2015 and is expected to stay within the 2.5-3.0% range in the short term. Mauritius’ current account deficit fell to 4.9% in 2015, compared with 5.9% in 2014, majorly due to the impact of weak oil prices on merchandise imports and a booming tourist sector on service exports.
The government introduced an innovative urban development approach, consisting of 8 ‘Smart Cities’ and 5 techno-parks, to provide an enabling framework and a package of attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to investors for the development of smart cities across the Island, with the legal system been transparent and non-discriminatory, the personal and income tax at 15% flat rate and the average tariff at 0.7% low at an effort to boost sustainable economic growth and enhance the competitiveness of Mauritius.
The Island also boasts of some of the most exclusive real estate in Africa and is now regarded to be one of the top five prime property hotspots in Sub-Saharan Africa along with the likes of Cape Town and Umhlanga.