GIS - 09 January, 2014: Mauritius is the only African country among the top 40 economies worldwide for doing business, according to the Forbes eighth annual survey of the Best Countries for Business 2013 released in December 2013.
The country which stands at the 29th position worldwide is followed by South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana and Zambia which figure at the top 5 African nations placed at the 41st, 49th, 60th and 68th place respectively.
Forbes rates 145 countries on 11 metrics, including property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance.
According to Forbes, several factors have contributed into ranking the country as the top African country for business. They are namely, a more equitable income distribution, increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality and a much improved infrastructure, since the country has gained independence in 1968.
The survey also shows that Mauritius, which has developed from a low-income agricultural based economy to a middle-income diversified economy, has registered a growth in the range of 5% to 6% from independence.
Forbes further points out that Mauritius has attracted more than 32 000 offshore entities from across India, South Africa and China and investment in the banking sector has reached over one billion US dollar in 2013. Mauritius, according to the report, with its strong textile sector has also been well poised to take advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the country sound economic policies and prudent banking practices have helped mitigate negative effects of the global financial crisis in 2008-2009.
It concludes that Gross Domestic Product has grown in the range of 3%-4% per year for the period 2010-2012 and the country continues to expand its trade and investment outreach across the globe.
The survey was based on values calculated till December 2013 from market performance based on each country’s major stock index returns for 12 months sourced from Heritage Foundation, World Economic Forum, Transparency International and Freedom House among others.
It will be recalled that Mauritius also tops Africa's Sub-Saharan economies and is ranked at the 20th position worldwide on Overall Ease of Doing Business 2014, according to the World Bank group's Doing Business 2014 Report entitled: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium Size Enterprises, released in October last year.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://gis.gov.mu