Mauritius eyes 15 percent FDI jump in 2010


Mauritius is targeting a 15 percent rise in foreign direct investments to 10 billion rupees, up from 8.7 billion rupees last year, the country’s Board of Investment said on Monday.

“Based on the trend for the five months ending May 2010 we believe that this year we will do much better than 2009 in terms of foreign direct investment,” said Prakash Maunthrooa, managing director of the board.

Once reliant on sugar and textiles, the Indian Ocean island has diversified into tourism, information technologies, business outsourcing and offshore banking to become one of Africa’s most stable and prosperous economies.

Bank of Mauritius said foreign direct investment into Mauritius reached 5.8 billion rupees for the period January to May 2010 against 3.4 billion rupees in the first half of 2009, with the real estate sector contributing 1.4 billion rupees to total.

Europe was the biggest source of foreign direct investment during the last five months, providing 1.5 billion rupees.

 

MEDICAL DESTINATION 

Maunthrooa said apart from its traditional European market, the board of investments will intensify its actions on emerging markets like India and China. An investment promotion mission has been planned in India by the end of August, he said.

“We are going to give particular attention to emerging sectors like healthcare, tertiary education, manufacturing and agro-industry while consolidating existing sectors like financial services, ICT and real estate” he said. 

He said real estate activities will remain a pillar in terms of contribution to foreign direct investment while the healthcare sector is also seen expanding over the next five years with the development of medical tourism. 

Foreign investment in the sector grew to 157 million Mauritius rupees in 2009 from 2 million rupees in 2007. 

Best known for its azure waters and white sandy beaches, the palm-fringed island is trying to position itself as a medical destination for foreigners. It expects 100,000 foreign patients annually by 2015, up from 10,000 last year, for treatments ranging from cardiothoracic surgery to hair grafting. 

Mauritius’ central statistics office said the island economy of 1.3 million people will grow by 4.2 percent in 2010, against a forecast of 4.6 percent made in March this year.

 

Source: Reuters by Jean Paul Arouff, PORT LOUIS