Mauritius: An Investor’s Safe Haven in an Economic Slowdown

The recent global economic slowdown has prompted investors to explore alternative jurisdictions for their wealth, and Mauritius has increasingly become an attractive option. Thanks to its stable political climate, strong economy, and favourable tax laws the island nation is an ideal safe haven.

State of the Global Economy

Facing challenges like ongoing inflation and geopolitical tensions – primarily related to Russia’s actions in Ukraine – the global economy is expected to continue its ongoing downturn this year. While some countries have managed to weather the storm better than others, the overall slowdown has had an undeniable impact on the bigger picture.

However, China’s recent decision to re-open its economy could pave the way for a rapid rebound in global activity. Efforts to combat inflation are also starting to pay off, with overall measures now decreasing in most countries.

Why Investors Choose Mauritius

Mauritius’ strategic location on air and sea routes between Asia, Europe, and Africa and its position as an international financial hub of excellence, provides access to trading and business opportunities on the African continent.

Most recently, it earned a spot among the 20 most rapidly growing economies worldwide according to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook in April 2023. In 2022, the country’s economy showcased a strong performance, registering a growth rate of 8.7%, outpacing the original forecast of 7.2%. The country’s GDP also surpassed earlier estimates by MUR 26 billion (~USD 575 million), standing at MUR 570 billion (~USD 12.6 billion).

In 2020, the World Bank officially classified Mauritius as a high-income country. Looking back further, foreign direct investment in high-end property reached R25 billion from 2014 to 2022 – approximately 40% of total international investment inflow according to the Bank of Mauritius.

Achievements like these speak to Mauritius’ business-friendly environment. The country enjoys political stability and security, with a strong hybrid judiciary system based on the French Code Civil and British legal system. It’s also recognised as a “Full Democracy” by the Economist Intelligence Unit, one of only 21 countries worldwide to be categorized as such.

Mauritius’ Rank and Status

Mauritius was ranked first in Africa and 13th globally in the World Bank’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business Report, and favourable taxes and no estate duty or capital gains tax are yet another boon

for those looking to do business there. Regarding safety, it is ranked 1st in Africa and is among the top 20 globally.

The island nation is also highly rated by high net worth individuals (HNWI), who have doubled in number over the last decade. According to figures published in The Africa Wealth Report 2022, there are just under 5000 HNWIs currently residing in Mauritius, most of them coming from South Africa and Europe. In terms of millionaire growth by percentage, Mauritius is the fourth fastest-growing country in the world. Current projections expect the HNWI population to exceed 8500 over the next 10 years, driven by growth in the local entertainment, financial services, real estate, and tech sectors, and continued inward wealth migration.

Mauritius, Not If but When

Mauritius’ success is no mistake or coincidence. Once reliant on the sugar and tourism industries, it has developed a robust, diversified economy through shrewd decision-making, forward-thinking policies, and an inviting environment for foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and businesses. With no signs of slowing down, it begs the question: if you haven’t already invested, when will you?