India and Mauritius inched towards a closer economic partnership as the country opened its doors for 10 top economic sectors to Indian entrepreneurs.
The first ever India-Mauritius Global Partnership Summit 2016 to be held between July 23-28 in the island country is the biggest initiative to boost trade between the two countries. Promoting the Summit across India in terms of seminars and road shows India-Mauritius Trade and Cultural Friendship Forum is estimating 250 Indian delegates to join the 150 African continent participants to forge business alliances.
“Mauritius is a business-friendly nation and this Summit is a big opportunity for Indian entrepreneurs as it would open a gateway to Africa and enable them to develop their business,” stated Deepak Kesarkar, minister of state of finance, rural development, planning, government of Maharashtra. He was speaking at the Summit’s run-up event held today at the World Trade Centre, Mumbai.
Stating that his country is developing very fast, Raj Rampartab, MP and Parliament Private Secretary, Mauritius, said that Indian companies must come to his country with an aim to look beyond. “We are in the strategic position vis-à-vis the African continent and we also have the necessary trade treaties,” he added.
Let’s talk business, is the theme of this Summit. Mauritius has grown from US$200 economy from the ‘70s to a US$9,300 economy now. Tourism counts for 7.5 per cent of its GDP, financial services will be 17 per cent in next 4 years and progressive farming is 2.9 per cent. ICT and BPO are the pillars of their economy. “The Summit is a people-to-people meeting. Mauritius is on top of ease of doing business and entrepreneurs can set up a company within three working days,” explained Deven Maulloo, director, conference.
70 per cent of the island country’s business comes from off shore, which has 17,000 companies in the fray and more coming. “Indian businesses must know that Mauritius is an important regional player through its membership of two major African blocks – South African Development Community (15 African countries) and Southern African states and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (19 African countries). There are no trade barriers between us and this way Indians can look outbound,” insisted Maulloo.
Indian investors are also shown the crucial US$ 2 billion project of Heritage City. In the country’s smart city initiative, Indians are being given a priority. “Many foreign universities have opened in Mauritius and Maulloo felt that since Mauritius has 25,000 working graduate population, Indian universities must set shop there soon and can even plan vocational and technical training centres,” concluded Maulloo.
Work, Stay and Play – that’s the message Mauritius is sending to Indian investors.
Capt. Somesh Batra, vice-chairman, WTC, Mumbai, stated, “India is Mauritius’ largest trading partner and has been largest exporter of goods and services. Mauritius was the single largest source of FDI into India in 2014-15 amounting to US$9.03 billion. It is but natural that both countries must develop stronger economic bond and this Summit is the perfect beginning of it.”
Box: Mauritius, at a glance
*Income tax, corporate tax and VAT at 15 per cent
*No capital gains tax
*Duty Free and VAT free facilities for goods and equipment imported in Freeport zones
*Tax holiday over 8 years under Smart Cities Scheme
*Incorporation of a company in 3 working days
*Bursting ocean economy