Mauritius – the hub between China and Africa?
Last year a conference was held in Singapore on the theme "Asia meets Africa". The purpose of the conference was two-fold: to showcase Singapore as a gateway to Asia and Mauritius as a gateway to Africa.
While Singapore’s status as an international trading and investment hub is well established, Mauritius’s credentials are probably less well known.
Five years ago the government of Mauritius inaugurated a series of economic reforms, using Singapore as a model. In particular, the government entered into a series of double-taxation treaties with countries such as China, India and Singapore. It lowered domestic taxes too and put in place a tax credit system for some businesses, especially if revenues are coming from overseas. Also as a member of African trade blocs Mauritius allowed duty-free access to markets, thus becoming an attractive destination for businesses and investment funds. More than 550 investment funds, with a net asset value of more than $50 billion, are based in Mauritius.
The tax reforms have helped Mauritius become a hub for Chinese investment into Africa. The Chinese have already invested $2.5 billion to create a special economic zone building warehouses and port facilities at the Jin Fei Trade and Economic Cooperation Zone.