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Sign up for free. As well as banking, it has operations spanning major economic sectors such as aviation, oil refining and distribution, real estate and agriculture. He explained: Liberia produces rubber, Cote d'Ivoire cocoa, Kenya coffee, but they do not have even one factory producing rubber products, chocolate or instant coffee. Through the LAP Libya is active in funding diverse projects. For instance it will launch a new satellite in December which holds the potential to transform communications in Africa.
Its footprint will cover the whole of Africa providing connections for all the countries of the continent and carrying data, voice and internet communications as well as educational services and facilitating African telecommunication system. The merger is part of the implementation of the strategy adopted by the CBL, aimed at revamping, promoting and modernising the Libyan banking sector by ensuring higher international banking standards, a source close to the institution said.
The two banking institutions, rated first and fifth among Libya's leading commercial banks, will start operating as a single entity by the first half of It will become the second biggest bank after the Libyan External Bank. Enjoy affordable access to over 18 million articles from more than 15, peer-reviewed journals.
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Follow IrishTimesNews. Kenya was the top recipient country with USD 31 million. The United States has not signed a bilateral investment treaty or a free trade agreement with Mauritius. This trade preference is valid until unless Mauritius graduates out of AGOA before then by moving up to high-income country status as defined by the World Bank. Mauritius has been a member of the World Trade Organization since and has signed trade agreements with several regional blocs and countries.
The agreement has been signed by both countries, but will not go into effect until ratified. Mauritius also signed an agreement with the UK in January to safeguard trade preferences it currently enjoys under the iEPA with the European Union.
The negotiations included trade in services, investment, competition policy, agriculture, intellectual property, sustainable development and development cooperation, among others. The first reporting under this standard was undertaken in September Since , the GoM has reformed trade, investment, tariffs, and income tax regulations to simplify the framework for doing business.
Trade licenses and many other bureaucratic hurdles have been reduced or abolished. Business Mauritius, the coordinating body of the Mauritian private sector, participates in discussions with and presents papers to government authorities on laws and regulations affecting the private sector.
Regulatory agencies do not request comments on proposed bills from the general public. Both the notice of the introduction of a government bill and a copy of the bill are distributed to every member of the Legislative Assembly and published in the Government Gazette before enactment.
Companies in Mauritius are regulated by the Companies Act of , which incorporates international best practices and promotes accountability, openness, and fairness. To combat corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing, the government also enacted the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and the Financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Act.
While Mauritius does not have a freedom of information act, members of the public may request information by contacting the permanent secretary of the relevant ministry. The GoM implements its commitments to these regional economic institutions with domestic legal and regulatory adjustments, as appropriate. In , Mauritius notified its category B and C commitments and their corresponding dates of implementation.
Discussions with donors to obtain technical assistance to finance trade facilitation projects listed under category C are ongoing and Mauritius secured assistance from the World Bank and the World Customs Organization. To coordinate efforts to implement the TFA, in Mauritius set up a National Committee on Trade Facilitation, co-chaired by representatives from government and the private sector. The committee has met 10 times since. Discussion topics include identification of sources of financing for category C commitments and resolution of non-tariff barriers in Mauritius.
Mauritius draws legal principles from both French civil law and British common law traditions. Its procedures are largely derived from the English system, while its substance is based on the Napoleonic Code of Commercial and contractual law is also based on the civil code. However, some specialized areas of law are comparable to other jurisdictions. For example, its company law is practically identical to that of New Zealand. Mauritian courts often resolve legal disputes by drawing on current legislation, the local legal tradition, and by means of a comparative approach utilizing various legal systems.
The highest court of appeal is the judicial committee of the Privy Council of England. Mauritius is a member of the International Court of Justice. Mauritius established a Commercial Court in to expedite the settlement of commercial disputes. Contracts are legally enforceable and binding.
Ownership of property is enforced with the registration of the title deed with the Registrar-General and payment of the registration duty. Mauritian courts have jurisdiction to hear intellectual property claims, both civil and criminal. The judiciary is independent and the domestic legal system is generally non-discriminatory and transparent. The Embassy is not aware of any recent cases of government or other interference in the court system affecting foreign investors.
The Economic Development Board Act governs investment in Mauritius, while the Companies Act contains the regulations governing incorporation of businesses. It is mandated to safeguard competition by preventing and remedying anti-competitive business practices in Mauritius. Anti-competitive business practices, also called restrictive business practices, may be in the form of cartels, abuse of monopoly situations, and mergers that reduce competition.
The institutional design of the CCM houses both an adjudicative and an investigative organ under one body. While the Executive Director has power to investigate restrictive business practices the Investigative Arm , the Commissioners determine the cases the Adjudicative Arm on the basis of reports from the Executive Director. Since it began operations, the CCM has undertaken 54 investigations, of which 44 have been completed and 10 are ongoing as of May To date, the CCM has conducted enquiries, which are preliminary research exercises prior to proceeding to investigations.
Since , the CCM has initiated a process to review and amend the Competition Act of to enable more effective enforcement. The process was expected to be completed in The Constitution includes a guarantee against nationalization.
The government enacted this law in the immediate aftermath of the financial scandal explained below. As a result, Bramer Bank entered receivership and by May the receiver had transferred the assets and liabilities of Bramer Bank to a newly created state-owned bank, the National Commercial Bank Ltd.
The GoM owns over 99 percent of Maubank shares. Efforts to privatize the bank in did not produce any results. CIEL Healthcare, a local private company, bought the hospital in The former chairman, who is a Mauritian-French dual national, claimed that Mauritius had breached the Mauritius-France bilateral investment treaty and requested the restitution of his assets and payment of compensation.
The tribunal concluded that it lacked jurisdiction over the dispute and ruled in favor of the GoM. The former chairman has appealed this decision. In May , the former chairman filed a case in the Supreme Court to challenge the appointment of the liquidator for the Bramer Banking Group. Mauritius does not have a bilateral investment treaty or free trade agreement with the United States. The embassy is aware of a dispute between a U.
After an apparent commercial impasse, in early the parastatal filed a criminal complaint against the CEO of the U. The accused, whom police did not take into custody but forbade to leave the country pending investigation, alleged that the parastatal filed the complaint to gain leverage in the commercial dispute. The tribunal ruled in favor of the government and the former chairman has appealed. In , the Supreme Court rendered a judgment in a major unfair competition case lodged in by Emtel Ltd.
Emtel was engaged in a joint venture with U. The court awarded over USD 16 million in damages to Emtel. In , Betamax received a long-term contract with a previous government for the transportation of petroleum products from an oil refinery in India to Mauritius. A different government elected in tried at first to negotiate Betamax out of the transportation contract on the grounds that the contract had been awarded unlawfully.
After negotiations failed, the government decided to rescind the contract. STC petitioned the Supreme Court of Mauritius to set aside the verdict, which it did in May , concluding that the contract violated local procurement regulations and public policy. In June , Betamax appealed to the Privy Council, which has not yet heard the appeal.
AHRIM is concerned about the impact the fish farm can have on tourism and the marine environment. Growfish is a company incorporated in Mauritius and financed by investors from South Africa and Norway. The court ruled in favor of the STC. The plaintiff has appealed to the Privy Council.
Bankruptcy is not criminalized in Mauritius. The Insolvency Act amended and consolidated the law relating to insolvency of individuals and companies and the distribution of assets in the case of insolvency and related matters. Most notably, the act introduced administration procedures, providing creditors the option of a more orderly reorganization or restructuring of a business than in liquidation. A bankrupt individual is automatically discharged from bankruptcy three years after adjudication, but may apply to be discharged earlier.
In April , the Insolvency Administration Equal Treatment to Classes of Creditors Regulations were issued to ensure equal treatment to creditors classified in the same category. Mauritius applies investment incentives uniformly to both domestic and foreign investors.
In the national budget, a number of incentives were implemented to attract investors to Mauritius. These include: i reduced corporate tax rate of three percent for companies engaged in global trading activities; ii investment tax credit of five percent over three years on the cost of new plant and machinery excluding motor vehicles; iii five year tax holiday for Mauritian companies collaborating with the Mauritius Africa Fund with respect to investment in the development of infrastructure in Special Economic Zones, and; iv five year tax holiday on income derived from smart parking solutions or other green initiatives.
Mauritius offers prospective investors a low-tax jurisdiction and a number of other fiscal incentives, including the following: i flat corporate and income tax rate of 15 percent; ii percent foreign ownership permitted; iii no minimum foreign capital required; iv no tax on dividends or capital gains; v free repatriation of profits, dividends, and capital; vi accelerated depreciation on acquisition of plant, machinery, and equipment; vii exemption from customs duty on imported equipment; and viii access to an extensive network of double taxation avoidance treaties.
Additionally, the government has established a Property Development Scheme PDS to attract high net worth non-citizens who want to acquire residences in Mauritius. Buyers of a residential unit valued over USD , in certain projects are eligible to apply for a residence permit in Mauritius. The residential unit can be leased or rented out by the owner. The Regulatory Sandbox License RSL , announced in the national budget, is intended to promote innovation by eliminating barriers to investment in cutting-edge technology.
An RSL gives an investor fast-track authorization to conduct business activity in a sector even if there is not yet a legal or regulatory framework in place for the sector. The Mauritius Freeport, a free trade zone, was established in and is a customs-free zone for goods destined for re-export. Companies operating in the Freeport are exempt from corporate tax.
Foreign-owned firms operating in the Freeport have the same investment incentives and opportunities as local entities. Activities carried out in the Freeport include warehousing and storage, breaking bulk, sorting, grading, cleaning and mixing, labeling, packing, repacking and repackaging, minor processing and light assembly, manufacturing activity, ship building, repairs and maintenance of ships, aircrafts, and heavy-duty equipment, storage, maintenance and repairs of empty containers, export-oriented seaport and airport based activities, freight forwarding services, quality control and inspection services, and vault activity for storing precious stones and metals, works of art, and the like.
Approximately 3, people are employed at the Freeport. In , trade value at the Freeport was This is a decrease from , when trade value was 44 billion rupees and volume was , metric tons. Top goods traded through the Freeport included mineral products, live animals, foodstuffs and beverages, and plastic and metal products. Per the Finance Act, a Freeport operator engaged in manufacturing inside the Freeport is allowed to apply as a private Freeport developer to build, develop, and manage its own infrastructural activities, provided that it carries out the same manufacturing activity.
A Freeport operator or private Freeport developer engaged in the manufacture of goods pays a 3 percent tax rate on profits derived from the sale of goods on the local market. Existing manufacturing companies with a Freeport certificate must employ a minimum of five employees and incur an annual expenditure exceeding 3.
Freeport operators must pay Corporate Social Responsibility tax on the sale of goods on the local market. The GoM does not impose local employment requirements on foreign investors. The OP allows foreign nationals to work and reside in Mauritius under three specific categories, namely: i investor, ii professional, or iii self-employed. Also, foreign nationals above the age of 50 years may choose to retire in Mauritius under a Residence Permit RP.
An OP or an RP is issued for a maximum period of three years and the permit holder may submit a new application upon expiry of the permit. The Data Protection Commissioner is responsible for upholding the rights of individuals set forth in the DPA and for enforcing the obligations imposed on data controllers and processors.
Mauritius is the second non-European country and the first African country to sign the convention. The agreement gives individuals the right to protection of their personal data. The Ministry of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation has started the ratification process of Convention with the Council of Europe.
Failure to comply with Section 28 of the DPA, which establishes the lawful purposes for which personal data may be processed, can result in a fine and up to five years imprisonment. Section 29 sets requirements for processing special categories of data, such as ethnic origin, political adherence, and mental health condition. Real property rights are respected in Mauritius. Ownership of property is memorialized with the registration of the title deed with the Registrar-General and payment of the registration duty.
The recording system of mortgages and liens is reliable. Traditional use rights are not an issue in Mauritius as there were no indigenous peoples present at the time of European colonization. In August , the new Industrial Property bill was enacted. In , the Copyright Act was amended to redefine and better safeguard the interests of copyright owners and to put in place a new regulatory framework for the Mauritius Society of Authors MASA. MASA is responsible for collection of copyright fees and for administering the economic rights of copyright owners.
A trademark is initially registered for 10 years and may be renewed for another 10 years. A patent expires 20 years after the application filing date. While IPR legislation in Mauritius is consistent with international norms, enforcement is relatively weak. According to a leading IPR law firm, police will normally only take action against IPR infringement in cases where the rights-holder has an official representative in Mauritius because the courts require a representative to testify that the products seized are counterfeit.
The Customs Department of the Mauritius Revenue Authority is the primary agency responsible for safeguarding Mauritian borders against counterfeit goods and piracy. The Customs Department requires owners or authorized users of patents, industrial designs, collective marks, marks, or copyrights to apply in writing to the Director General to suspend clearance of goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights.
Once an application is approved, it remains valid for two years. There are no administrative costs to pay for an application. An application can also be filed as a preventive measure. Customs may act upon its own initiative to suspend clearance if there is evidence of IPR infringement..
Customs will then contact the owner or authorized user for follow-up actions. The Customs Department keeps a record of counterfeit goods seized. Customs has authority to seize and destroy counterfeit goods. Mauritius is not listed in the U. Law firms are listed for convenience and should not be taken to imply U. Sanjeev Ghurburrun Director, Geroudis , Dr. The GoM welcomes foreign portfolio investment. The Stock Exchange of Mauritius SEM was opened to foreign investors following the lifting of foreign exchange controls in Foreign investors do not need approval to trade shares, except for when doing so would result in their holding more than 15 percent in a sugar company, a rule detailed in the Securities Investment by Foreign Investors Rules of Incentives to foreign investors include no restrictions on the repatriation of revenue from the sale of shares and exemption from tax on dividends for all resident companies and for capital gains of shares held for more than six months.
As of December , the shares of 62 companies local, global business, and foreign companies were listed on the Official Market, representing a market capitalization of USD 9. A variety of new asset classes of securities such as global funds, depositary receipts, mineral companies, and specialist securities including exchange-traded funds and structured products have also been introduced on the SEM.
The DEM was launched in and the shares of 37 companies are currently listed on this market with a market capitalization of USD 1. Foreign investors accounted for A variety of credit instruments is available to local and foreign investors through the banking system. Mauritius has a sophisticated banking sector. As of April , 20 banks are licensed to undertake banking business, of which five are local banks, nine are foreign-owned subsidiaries, one is a joint venture, four are branches of foreign banks, and one is licensed as a private bank.
One bank conducts solely Islamic banking. According to the Banking Act of , all banks are free to conduct business in all currencies. There are also six non-bank deposit-taking institutions, as well as 12 money changers and foreign exchange dealers. There are no official government restrictions on foreigners opening bank accounts in Mauritius, but banks may require letters of reference or proof of residence for their due diligence.
The Bank of China started operations in Mauritius in According to the Bank of Mauritius Annual Report, the banking sector remained healthy with an average capital adequacy ratio of 19 percent as of June Non-performing loans as a ratio to total outstanding loans stood at 5.
The Central Bank began reporting the liquidity coverage ratio in to improve the liquidity profile of banks and their ability to withstand potential liquidity disruptions. The latest International Monetary Fund Article IV report highlights that banks have increased exposure to the region and that the Bank of Mauritius has strengthened cross-border supervision and cooperation with foreign regulators.
As part of its Covid response, the Bank of Mauritius has made USD million available through commercial banks as special relief funds to help meet cash flow and working capital requirements. The cash reserve ratio applicable to commercial banks was reduced from 9 percent to 8 percent. Most major banks in Mauritius have correspondent banking relationships with large banks overseas.
In recent years, according to industry experts, no banks have lost correspondent banking relationships and none report being in jeopardy of doing so as of April In January , the Central Bank signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Mauritius Police Force on financial crimes and illicit activities relating to the financial services sector. Since the completion of its Mutual Evaluation Report in , Mauritius has made progress on a number of its recommended actions to improve technical compliance and effectiveness, including amending the legal framework to require legal persons and legal arrangements to disclose of beneficial ownership information and improving the processes of identifying and confiscating proceeds of crimes.
Mauritius is working to implement its action plan, including i demonstrating that the supervisors of its global business sector and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions implement risk-based supervision; ii ensuring the access to accurate basic and beneficial ownership information by competent authorities in a timely manner; iii demonstrating that law enforcement agencies have capacity to conduct money laundering investigations, including parallel financial investigations and complex cases; iv implementing a risk based approach for supervision of its non-profit sector to prevent abuse for terrorism financing purposes, and v demonstrating the adequate implementation of targeted financial sanctions through outreach and supervision.
In February , the Fintech and Innovation-driven Financial Services FIFS Regulatory Committee held its first meeting at the Financial Services Commission, the regulator for the non-banking financial services, to assess the regulatory framework concerning FIFS regulations in Mauritius and to identify priority areas within the regulatory space of fintech activities. In May , the Committee submitted recommendations for regulating the fintech sector to authorities.
A National Regulatory Sandbox License RSL Committee was set up to assess all fintech applications requiring a sandbox license for business activities without an existing legal framework. Effective March , the Financial Services Commission allows businesses that provide custodial services for digital assets. According the Bank of Mauritius Annual Report, the FIFS committee has initiated work on approaches to regulate Fintech tools such as artificial intelligence, big data, distributed ledger technologies, and biometrics.
The government of Mauritius abolished foreign exchange controls in Consequently, no approval is required for converting, transferring, or repatriating profits, dividends, or capital gains earned by a foreign investor in Mauritius. Funds associated with any form of investment can be freely converted into any world currency.
The exchange rate is generally market-determined, though the Bank of Mauritius, the central bank, occasionally intervenes. Between January and December , the Mauritian rupee depreciated against the U. Due to the Covid crisis, the Bank of Mauritius intervened regularly on the domestic foreign exchange market in early There are no time or quantity limits on remittance of capital, profits, dividends, and capital gains earned by a foreign investor in Mauritius.
Mauritius has a well-developed and modern banking system. There is no legal parallel market in Mauritius for investment remittances. The Embassy is unaware of any proposed changes by the government to its investment remittance policies. The government, however, still controls key services directly or through parastatal companies in the power and water, television broadcasting, and postal service sectors. The government also holds controlling shares in the State Bank of Mauritius, Air Mauritius the national airline , and Mauritius Telecom.
These state-controlled companies have Boards of Directors on which seats are allocated to senior government officials. The government nominates the chairperson and CEO of each of these companies. In April , Air Mauritius requested voluntary administration, similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States, because it could not comply with financial obligations.
The government also invests in a wide variety of Mauritian businesses through its investment arm, the State Investment Corporation. The government is also the owner of Maubank and the National Insurance Company.
The STC is the only authorized importer of petroleum products, liquefied petroleum gas, and flour. SOEs purchase from or supply goods and services to private sector and foreign firms through tenders. Audited accounts of SOEs are published in their annual reports. Mauritius is part of the OECD network on corporate governance of state-owned enterprises in southern Africa. The government has no specific privatization program. In March , despite protest by trade unions and consumer associations, the Minister of Energy and Public Utilities reiterated his intention to engage by the end of the year a private operator as a strategic partner to take over the water distribution services of the CWA.
To date, this has not materialized. The government has said for years it planned to sell control of Maubank, into which it has injected about USD million since it nationalized the bank in In the budget speech, the prime minister said the government would sell non-strategic assets to reduce government debt.
His office never identified a list of assets, but in parliament the prime minister has mentioned Maubank, the National Insurance Company, and Casinos of Mauritius as possible divestments. The purpose of the Committee is to: i establish principles and practices of corporate governance; ii promote the highest standards of corporate governance; iii promote public awareness about corporate governance principles and practices; and iv act as the national coordinating body responsible for all matters pertaining to corporate governance.
The Financial Reporting Council FRC , also set up under the Financial Reporting Act , aims to advocate for the provision of high-quality reporting of financial and non-financial information by public interest entities and to improve the quality of accountancy and audit service. Its mandate is to provide guidance and support for enforcement of good governance and the eradication of corruption.
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