Mauritius is an upper middle income country with a GDP per capita of USD 9,170 at market price in 2015. It is known as a reliable and trusted International Financial Centre (IFC). As a country which enjoys economic and political stability, it has highly qualified and bilingual professionals.
Financial Services is one of the most important contributors to the Mauritian economy, representing 10% of GDP and directly employing over 15,000 highly skilled professionals.
Mauritius is well-positioned as a jurisdiction which is favourable for business in Africa, Middle East and Asia. It is also recognised at an international level for its ease of doing business and investor friendly environment as well as its sound legal and regulatory framework. The Privy Council of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom is the highest court of appeal in Mauritius, thus providing investors with the confidence and infrastructure of one of the oldest and highly respected legal systems in the World.
Mauritius is regarded as an international financial centre of high repute, as evidenced by its presence on the OECD whitelist and is a member of Regional Trading Blocs (SADC, COMESA, IOC, IOR as well as qualifies for benefits under AGOA and EPA for the US and EU markets respectively).
Mauritius has Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements with over 40 countries, thus offering a wide range of fiscal benefits and enabling efficient tax planning.
Mauritius offers full protection of foreign investments in key African nations through its network of Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs). As at July 2016, Mauritius has signed 44 IPPAs, including 23 African countries. These IPPAs ensure the protection of Mauritian investments in respect of expropriation and social unrest in contracting states. They also provide for arrangements for settlement of disputes between investors and the contracting states.
Furthermore Mauritius has signed Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) with Australia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, States of Guernsey, Iceland and USA. TIEAs provide the legal framework for the respective Tax Authorities to assist each other in respect of the exchange of information which has a foreseeable relevance to the administration and enforcement of the domestic laws of the Contracting Parties concerning taxes, in a secure and confidential manner. The information includes information that has a foreseeable relevance to the determination, assessment and collection of such taxes, the recovery and enforcement of tax claims, or the investigation or prosecution of tax matters.
Mauritius has also signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) and a Model 1 Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the US in December 2013. The Mauritius IGA follows a Reciprocal Model 1A approach whereby all Reporting Mauritius Financial Institutions are required to disclose information on reportable accounts substantially owned by US citizens and residents to the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) for onward submission to the US Inland Revenue Service (IRS). The agreements have now been incorporated in the local regulatory framework in regulations made under s76 of the Income Tax Act cited as the Agreement for the Exchange of Information Relating to Taxes (United States of America – FATCA Implementation) Regulations 2014 (Mauritius FATCA Regulations).