Mauritius

Region: Southern Africa

Capital: Port Louis

Population: 1,306,600 (UNDP 2011)

Surface area : 2,040 sq km

Currency : Mauritian rupee (MUR)

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

Background
Although known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in 1505; it was subsequently held by the Dutch, French, and British before independence 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.

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. For most of the period, annual growth has been in the order of 5% to 6%. This remarkable achievement has been reflected 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 from the global financial crisis in 2008-09. GDP grew more than 4% per year in 2010-11, and the country continues to expand its trade and investment outreach around the globe. (CIA, 2012)

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

Remittances:US $249 million (World Bank 2011 est.)

Human Development Index 2011 ranking: 77 out of 187 countries (UNDP 2011)

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners: Net ODA US $125 million. Major development partners include: E.U. Institutions, France, U.K. Global Fund, GEF (OECD 2010).

Total External Debt: US $6.002 billion (31 December 2011, CIA est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth: 73.4 years (UNDP 2011)

Environmental Indicators:

                                               Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 18

                                               Forested Area (percentage of land area): 17.2

                                               CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 3.1

                                               (Data Source: UNDP 2011)

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.10017USA

Telephone: (212) 949-0190, -0191

Fax: (212) 697-3829, 953-1233

Website: www.gov.mu/portal/sites/mfamission/newyork/index.htm

Sources:

CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. www.cia.gov

World Development Indicators. World Bank www.worldbank.org

Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. www.oecd.org

Human Development Report 2011.United Nations Development Programme. www.undp.org

 

Updated July 2012