I. Country Description
- Mauritius is a little island country in the Indian Ocean in the east of Africa. It was known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century and subsequently settled by the Dutch – who named it in honor of Prince Maurits van NASSAU – in the 17th century.
- The French assumed control in 1715, developing the island into an important naval base overseeing Indian Ocean trade, and establishing a plantation economy of sugar cane. Even today, four families with French-origin control the majority of the country’s economic activities – although they are not actively involved in politics.
- The British captured the island in 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars. Mauritius remained a strategically important British naval base, and later an air station, playing an important role during World War II for anti-submarine and convoy operations, as well as the collection of signals intelligence.
- Independence from the UK was attained in 1968.
- A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has earned one of Africa’s highest per capita incomes.
- Recent poor weather, declining sugar prices, and declining textile and apparel production, have slowed economic growth, leading to some protests over standards of living in the Creole community.
- Area: 2,040 sq km – almost 11 times the size of Washington, DC
- Climate: tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; warm, dry winter (May to November); hot, wet, humid summer (November to May)
- Natural resources: arable land, fish
- Natural hazards: cyclones (November to April); almost completely surrounded by reefs that may pose maritime hazards
- Environment current issues: water pollution, degradation of coral reefs
- The main island, from which the country derives its name, is of volcanic origin and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs
- Population: 1.2 million (July 2007 est.), Median age: 30.8 years, Life expectancy at birth: 72.63 years
- Ethnic groups: Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%
- Religions: Hindu 48%, Roman Catholic 23.6%, other Christian 8.6%, Muslim 16.6%, other 2.5%
- Languages: English (official), Creole, French (official), Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bhojpuri
- Literacy: 85.6%
II. Country Description
- GDP: $17 billion (2006 est.), growth rate: 3%, GDP per capita: $13,100
- Labor force: 570,000. Construction & industry 36%, Services 24%, Agriculture/fishing 14%, trade, restaurants, hotels 16%, transportation and communication 7%, finance 3%.
- Major exports: clothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers, molasses
- Major imports: manufactured goods, capital equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
III. Doing Business
- Due to its historical tie with the U.K. the business model adopted many practices of Anglo system.
- The political power is mostly in the hands of Indo-Mauritians.
- The Franco-Mauritius families still control the vast majority of countries land and other resources.
- Ethnic groups watch and protect each other’s interest and jobs.
- Nepotism is ever present – you’d better to know someone to do business there.
- It is a very status-conscience country. This also indicates that the management style is more hierarchical.
- The labor force is highly educated. Many of them can speak English, French, and Hindi – all provide them an advantage in a global economy.
Venture Capital & Funding