Region: Southern Africa

Capital: Port Louis

Population: 1,331,155 (July 2014 CIA est.)

Surface area : 2,040 sq km

Currency : Mauritian rupee (MUR)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $15,000 (2011 CIA est.)

Although 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. 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.

Economy – Overview:
Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. Mauritius has achieved steady and strong growth over the last several decades, resulting in more equitable income distribution, increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much-improved infrastructure. The economy rests on sugar, tourism, textiles and apparel, and financial services, and is expanding into fish processing, information and communications technology, and hospitality and property development. Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 15% of export earnings. The government’s development strategy centers on creating vertical and horizontal clusters of development in these sectors. Mauritius has attracted more than 32,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India, South Africa, and China. Investment in the banking sector alone has reached over $1 billion. Mauritius, with its strong textile sector, has been well poised to take advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Mauritius’ sound economic policies and prudent banking practices helped to mitigate negative effects of the global financial crisis in 2008-09. GDP grew in the 3-4% per year range in 2010-13, and the country continues to expand its trade and investment outreach around the globe. (CIA 2014)

Major Export Commodities: clothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers, molasses, fish

Remittances inflows: US $1 million (World Bank 2012 est.)

Human Development Index 2013 ranking: 80 out of 186 countries (UNDP 2013)

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners:
Net ODA US $117,4600,000.
Major development partners include: E.U. Institutions, France, U.K. Global Fund, GEF (OECD 2012).

Total External Debt: US $2.894 billion (31 December 2013, CIA est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth: 75.17 years (CIA 2014)

Environmental Indicators:
Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 15.2
Forested Area (percentage of land area): 17.3
CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 3.1
(UNDP 2013)

United Nations Membership Date: 24 April 1968

New York Mission:
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Mauritius to the United Nations
211 East 43rd St., 15th Floor, Suite 1502
New York, N.Y.10017 USA
Telephone: (212) 949-0190, -0191
Fax: (212) 697-3829, 953-1233

CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
World Development Indicators. World Bank
Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Human Development Report 2013.United Nations Development Programme.

Updated January 2015