“New Economy” Interview

Q1. Mr. Naugah, what sets Mauritius apart as a business destination?

Actually Mauritius is known traditionally as an exotic tourist hub. For a population of 1.3 million we receive 1 million tourists from all over the world each year and it is a popular destination.

However, Mauritius is also a safe destination for doing business – it has all the ingredients necessary for that – political stability, strategic location, excellent infrastructure and an efficient communication network.

Q2. What services does BPML offer?

BPML is first and foremost a one-stop shop for providing office premises, serviced land and other logistics to promoters who are starting a business, be it in the ICT sector or in manufacturing or services industry.

BPML owns a number of state-of-the-art buildings such as the Cyber Tower which was acclaimed as the Intelligent building of the Year by the Intelligent Business Community of New York in 2005.

BPML also offers serviced land on leasehold or freehold to promoters to set up their own buildings.

Q3. Mauritius is embracing information and communication technology as one of the pillars of its economy – how are you helping to facilitate this?

The ICT sector has grown rapidly over the last few years into an important pillar of the Mauritian economy. It is soon to become the 2nd most important pillar. BPML is playing a major role in providing world class facilities to companies which are involved in IT-related activities. Already, we have flagship companies such as Accenture, Orange, TNT, Microsoft, Infosys, Ceridian among our prestigious clients. Their activities in Mauritius are growing steadily and so is the ICT sector.

Q4. What opportunities are there in this (information and communication technology) sphere for investors?

Mauritius is considered to be the gateway to Africa due to its proximity and preferential access to its markets. The African continent has the highest potential for development in the decade to come and Mauritius is well located and braced to provide the necessary platform to industrialists who wish to enter the African market. We are also a member of the African Union, COMESA and SADC amongst other trade blocs.

Q5. What government incentives are in place to attract foreign companies?

Government offers a list of incentives to companies which operate in Mauritius, such as a nominal corporate tax, free repatriation of capital and reduction in bandwidth cost year after year. However, operators are very much interested in such other advantages such as ease of doing business, a safe and stable location and competitive costs of labour and services. The fact that Mauritians are bi-lingual is an added advantage.

Q6. How easy is it to do business in the country? –How safe are investments?

Mauritius is ranked the 1st country in Africa for doing business and 19th globally. In terms of Economic Freedom Mauritius is again 1st in Africa and 8th Globally.

Mauritius has been ranked 1st in the MO Ibrahim Index for the past six years consecutively.

These are eloquent facts which speak for themselves and they place Mauritius as a safe and a preferred location for doing business.

Q7. Finally, how do you see the country’s economy progressing over the next decade?

Mauritius has been one of the few countries which has shown resilience in the face of global recession in the past few years.

We are fast becoming a hub for promoting green data centres and a centre of excellence for KPO services.