Mauritius is an island nation situated in the Indian Ocean. In the past, the country was alternately a Dutch, French and British colony. Its location to the southeast of the African mainland made the island an important trading centre on the route from Europe to India.
Mauritius gained its independence from Britain in 1968. Today, the country is a parliamentary republic with the president as its head of state. Mauritius remains part of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Mauritius’ financial centre started bank in the late-1980s when previous legislation was amended to facilitate the emergence of financial services. Since then, the country has been evolving into a financial centre of excellence. A sophisticated modern infrastructure and the availability of suitably qualified labour resources have made an important contribution to the Island’s growing reputation.
Mauritius has gained a global reputation as the preferred gateway for investment into and out of India and Africa. Mauritius has consistently earned first place amongst African countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, with the Worlds Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report reaffirming Mauritius as the most competitive Sub-Saharan country.
A short hop from the African mainland, with its mixed economic system, Mauritius combines private freedom with centralised economic planning and governmental regulation. It is known as an international financial services centre of substance and excellence and gives clients the reassurance that their money is safe and secure.
As an independent state, Mauritius has a stable and supportive government, robust economy and a business-friendly environment with solid economic policies and prudent banking practices. It enjoys the OECD’s coveted whitelist status. Mauritius is compliant with international norms and standards, including the standards on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting recommendations and the Common Reporting Standard on automatic exchange of information.
Mauritius is at the forefront of best practice in international regulation, drawing praise from many global bodies. As the world shifts towards greater regulation, the high standards already set by the Financial Services Commission put the island in an excellent position to address any future changes.
Mauritius is a beacon of political, social and economic stability, which offers investors a conducive environment for doing business, which guarantees predictability, certainty and security. The Government has ensured doing business in and from Mauritius is both easy and smooth and complies with best practices in terms of transparency, good governance and ethics. Mauritius has enacted anti-money laundering and terrorist financing legislations while the business framework itself has been made simpler. Mauritius has long standing cooperation agreements with most African and international bodies. It has preferential market access to Africa, Europe, India, China and USA.
Mauritius has a hybrid legal system, which combines both civil and common law practices. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial authority and Mauritius has retained the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom as its final court of appeal.
Mauritius has an attractive fiscal regime with a corporate tax rate of 15%. Companies qualifying as residents for tax purposes are entitled to a partial-exemption regime of 80% on specified foreign source income. Companies engaged in export of goods are liable to tax at the rate of 3%. There is no withholding tax on dividends and interests paid to a non-resident. There is no capital gains tax, no estate duty, no inheritance, wealth or gift tax and no foreign exchange control. The country has an extensive network of tax treaties and is party to investment promotion protection agreements, which provide extra assurance and security to investors.
Legitimate confidentiality or privacy is enshrined in Mauritius law. There are no secrecy laws in Mauritius. Legitimate planning that utilises compliant structures remains effective. Expert advice is essential not just to ensure the correct planning but also to demonstrate that you have taken care to achieve legal and tax compliance.
Mauritius has concluded 45 tax treaties with leading, developed and emerging economies worldwide and is party to a series of treaties, which are awaiting ratification and signature or are under negotiation. The tax treaties, which offer a wide range of fiscal benefits and enable efficient tax planning, are an integral component of the Mauritian government’s strategy to promote the country as an attractive financial centre.
The attractive concessions that are provided by the treaties include:
• Elimination of double taxation through tax credit equivalent to Mauritius tax
• Reduction in withholding taxes on dividends, interests and royalties
• Exemption from capital gains
• Possible exemption on interest payments on loans
Mauritius offers protection of foreign investments through its network of IPPAs with 29 countries. An IPPA is a bilateral agreement between sovereign states for the reciprocal promotion and protection of investments.
An IPPA provides the following guarantees to investors: