In an ambitious move to propel economic growth and solidify its status as a prime destination for foreign investors, Mauritius has introduced a series of innovative measures in the Budget 2024-2025. This forward-looking budget focuses on enhancing the ease of doing business, expanding the financial services sector, promoting sustainable practices, and boosting key industries like tourism and ICT. Blue Azurite gives you an overview of these strategic reforms designed to transition Mauritius into a MUR 1 trillion economy by 2030.

Streamlining business operations

Central to the budget is a series of initiatives aimed at simplifying business operations in Mauritius. Recognizing the pivotal role of efficiency in economic growth, the government has set forth plans to significantly reduce the processing time for business permits and licenses. This includes a commitment to halve the turnaround time for all business-related applications, ensuring that licenses and permits are processed within 10 working days, provided all requirements are met.

Additionally, the budget introduces reforms to the Occupational Permit (OP) system to make it more attractive for foreign professionals. The salary threshold for OPs has been lowered from Rs 30,000 to Rs 22,500, and a new 3-month temporary OP is now available for professionals with over 10 years of experience, facilitating easier access to the Mauritian job market.

Moreover, the expansion of foreign labor quotas and the extension of the duration of stay for certain sectors aim to attract a wider pool of international talent, addressing local skills shortages and driving further economic activity.

Reinforcing the financial services sector

The financial services sector receives a robust enhancement with the introduction of a 10-year expert OP specifically designed to attract foreign talent in areas such as wealth management, family offices, and virtual assets. This is complemented by strategic regulatory reforms intended to strengthen the financial landscape. Notable among these is the strengthening of the operational independence of the Central Bank and the development of a framework for the secondary trading of government bonds on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM).

Furthermore, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) is set to increase processing and annual fees, and amendments will be made to relevant acts to incorporate fees for post-licensing processes. The amendments to the National Payment Systems (NPS) Act to better align payment instruments with virtual assets signal Mauritius’s intent to stay at the forefront of financial technology innovations.

Advancing ICT and Entrepreneurship

Recognizing the critical role of technology and innovation in contemporary economies, the budget introduces significant incentives for the ICT sector. These include a 25% refund under the ‘Small Business Digital Champion Scheme’ for investments of at least MUR 500,000 in new technologies and equipment. Additionally, a 90% refund on training in artificial intelligence aims to bolster the country’s technological skill base.

Support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs is also strengthened, with measures such as salary compensation up to MUR 2,000, a 10% rental rebate from the Development Bank of Mauritius, and the writing off of loans over 20 years by June 2025. These initiatives provide a nurturing environment for local businesses, fostering innovation and driving economic diversity.

Boosting the tourism sector

Tourism, a vital component of Mauritius’s economy, benefits from several strategic initiatives aimed at enhancing its global competitiveness. The introduction of the Tourism Development Bill and a streamlined licensing framework are set to simplify operations and spur growth in this sector. A significant increase of 20% in the budget for promotion and destination marketing by the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority underscores a commitment to attracting more visitors to the island.

Furthermore, infrastructure developments, such as the new runway at Plaine Corail, are expected to enhance connectivity and support tourism in Rodrigues. The implementation of e-Gate and e-Passport controls at borders will improve the travel experience, while ambitious goals to position Mauritius as a Green-Certified Destination by 2030 highlight the country’s commitment to sustainable tourism practices.

Addressing climate change

The introduction of a Corporate Climate Responsibility Levy of 2% on profits for companies with turnovers exceeding MUR 50 million exemplifies Mauritius’s proactive stance on environmental sustainability. This levy will fund projects aimed at combating coastal erosion and promoting a circular economy, integrating environmental responsibility into the corporate sector.

Summing up

The Mauritius Budget 2024-2025 is a comprehensive blueprint designed to enhance the country’s attractiveness as an investment destination. By streamlining business processes, strengthening the financial sector, supporting technological advancement, and embracing sustainable practices, Mauritius is not just inviting foreign investment but is also paving the way for sustainable economic growth and development. This holistic approach ensures that Mauritius remains competitive on the global stage, ready to welcome investors and professionals from around the world to explore new opportunities in this dynamic market. For more information on how you can benefit from these changes as a foreign investor in Mauritius, contact Blue Azurite now.

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