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). In 2009, the drop in global demand for Mauritian exports caused a 4% drop in GDP.

Economy: GDP to increase to 4.3% in 2010 On the basis of information gathered on the key sectors of the economy and taking into consideration measures announced in the last budget, GDP is expected to grow by around 4.3% in 2010, higher than the 2.8% growth in 2009 says the Central Statistical Office in a December 2009 report. Exclusive of sugar, the growth rate would be around 4.4% compared to 2.4% in 2009. The main assumptions used are: sugarcane/sugar milling: sugar production of around 480,000 tonnes, resulting in growth of 1.1% compared to 21.1% in 2009; Manufacturing Industries: to expand by around 1.7% compared to 0.6% in 2009. a growth of 1.0% in Textile , assuming some recovery in the economies of our main markets, and Other manufacturing to expand by 1.0% compared to no growth in 2009: Construction: to grow at a higher rate of 8.0% as opposed to 3.0% in 2009 mainly due to the frontloading of public sector investment.

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