Mauritius has emerged as an International Financial Centre due to its strong regulatory framework in line with international initiatives to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities.
In addition to legislations pertaining to The Financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2002 (FIAMLA 2002), the Prevention of Corruption Act 2002 (POCA 2002) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002 (POTA 2002), Mauritius has demonstrated a high commitment in setting OECD norms and ensuring active collaboration with other jurisdictions by exchanging information. In this context, the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius has signed Memorandums of Understanding with 19 regulators including the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
The island has earned the trust of global investors through its recognition by international bodies such as IOSCO, IAIS, FATF and IFSB. It was among the first jurisdictions to be included back in April 2009, in the White List of OECD.
In addition, up to now, Mauritius has signed and ratified 38 Double Taxation Agreements (DTAA) based on the OECD model, with the developed but also emerging economies around the world.
Mauritius has become a reliable and competitive hub where investments are structured and managed. It has positioned itself as the preferred jurisdiction to invest in India.
Furthermore, the island has entered into Investment Promotion Protection Agreements (IPPA) with 36 countries throughout the globe, especially with 17 African countries which are opening a new window of opportunities, namely Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
These IPPAs offer full protection of all foreign investments through Mauritius with respect to expropriation and social unrest in the contracting states. Provisions also cover arrangements for settlement in case of any dispute between the investors and the contracting states.
Moreover, concerning fiscal incentives, the island has introduced since 2007, a flat tax rate of 15% for resident corporate firms and individuals.
It is worth to note that Global Business Companies 1 can reap the benefits of double taxation relief under Mauritian tax treaties as these companies are considered to be resident ones for tax purposes while Global Business Companies 2 are not considered to be resident in Mauritius for tax purposes and are thus exempted from taxation in Mauritius.
Several other factors have contributed to the emergence of Mauritius as an International Finance Centre. Amongst them, no withholding taxes on dividends or interests, no capital gains tax, a highly-efficient banking system and last but not least, the free repatriation of foreign currencies.
The island is also conveniently located in the time zone at GMT+4, thus, enabling commerce and business to be achieved within a single day with the major markets in the United States, Europe or Asia.
Mauritius remains the preferred jurisdiction for a rising number of global investors who rely on its efficient, safe and secure platform as testified in 2012 by the World Bank Doing Business Report which ranked Mauritius 1st in Africa and 23rd globally for the ease of doing business; in 2011, Mauritius topped the list of African countries in the Mo Ibrahim Index of Corporate Governance.