Why Mauritius is a Good Base to Trade From.
1. Experienced and Proven Jurisdiction
The Mauritius International Financial Centre has been servicing the local and international business community for more than a decade. The country has a long history and a banking tradition, a share ownership and a corporate culture going back more than a century. These can be shown by key historic milestones such as the setting up of the largest bank on the island dates back to 1838, the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce was set up in 1850 and our first Company Act dates back to 1913.
Over the years a number of international banks, funds, accountancy firms, and other financial institutions have been incorporated in the country and have successfully serviced the Mauritian International Financial Centre. Moreover, Mauritius has a strong track record of the global investment community using its financial platform for investing in emerging countries. For instance, over the last few years, significant FDI targeting India was made out of Mauritius.
2. Network of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAA)
Mauritius has signed and ratified 38 Double Taxation Agreements (DTAA) to date with leading developed and emerging economies around the globe. With all its DTAAs based on the OECD model, the IFC is today recognised as the ideal hub for investing in the growing regional markets.
We currently have 14 DTAAs with African nations including Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Tunisia.
3. Investment Promotion Protection Agreements (IPPA)
Mauritius offers full protection of foreign investments in key African nations through its network of IPPAs. As at date, Mauritius has signed IPPAs with 36 countries including 17 African countries. IPPAs signed with African countries include: Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.
The IPPAs guarantees Mauritian investment with respect to expropriation and social unrest in contracting states. They also provide for arrangements for settlement of disputes between investors and the contracting states.
4. International Recognition & OECD White Listed Jurisdiction
In its first classification back in April 2009, the OECD classified Mauritius as a jurisdiction that has substantially implemented internationally agreed tax and transparency standards. Since, this has proved very beneficial to Mauritius as an International Financial Centre as global investors’ confidence and trust in the jurisdiction increased, thus allowing for more use of the platform by the international business community. The Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), on the other hand, has classified Mauritius as one of the top jurisdictions with regard to information exchange.
The reputation of Mauritius as a well regulated and business friendly investment destination is also evidenced by its international recognition and signatory to the IOSCO, IAIS, OECD, FATF and IFSB.
5. Regulatory Framework
A series of innovative and modern legislation underpins the financial services sector in Mauritius. The legislative framework has been drafted according to “best-practice” principles thereby making the centre an efficient and user-friendly destination for international business and financial services. The Banking Act provides for the laws relating to the business of banking and other financial institutions while the Financial Services Act (FSA) provides a common framework for licensing and supervision of all financial services other than banking and for the global business sector. The companies Act on the other hand was modeled on the UK Act and saw major revision in 2001.
6. Fiscal incentives
Since 2007, Mauritius has adopted a homogenised tax system with a flat 15% tax rate applicable for resident corporate firms and individuals. GBC1s are considered resident for tax purposes and therefore benefit from double taxation relief under Mauritian tax treaties. GBC1s and PCCs are liable for a foreign tax credit of 80%, which effectively brings down the applicable tax rate from 15% to 3% pa. Since 2010, GBC1s can also do business with Mauritian residents subject to taxes at 15%.
GBC2s on the other hand are not considered to be resident in Mauritius for tax purposes and therefore do not benefit from double taxation relief under tax treaties. GBC2s are not liable to taxation in Mauritius. In addition, Mauritius does not impose any withholding taxes on dividends or interests as well as no capital gains tax. It is worth noting that there is no exchange control in Mauritius.
7. Convenient Time Zone
Mauritius remains the jurisdiction of choice for many global investors looking to expand their operations from a safe, stable and secure platform. The country is a convenient GMT+4 location allowing trading and business to be done with major markets including Europe, USA and Asia, all in a single business day.