Mauritius: Waiting on a second economic miracle

While Mauritius’ scandals may have grabbed the headlines, 2015 was also a year of quieter economic expectations as the population waited to see what the new administration had up its sleeve. The first economic miracle was felt in the 1980s where the economy developed rapidly, with growth rates of 6-8%. Alas, after the global financial crisis of 2007-08, growth has continued at a little above 3%.

However, economists remain optimistic about Mauritius’ prospects, particularly regarding the possibility of developing the so-called blue economy. This could involve exploiting the Port Louis’ harbour facilities to capitalise on the increase in shipping of commodities and manufactured goods between Africa and Asia; the introduction of new deep sea and coastal fishing technologies, including aquaculture; bio-pharmacy; and, despite the global commodities glut, finding game-changing oil and mineral reserves in Mauritius’s territorial waters.

Construction of the ‘smart cities’ shall begin shortly. The idea is to create (with private sector finance) sustainable business, entertainment and residential hubs that will boost both the number and quality of jobs open to the ever-growing number of well-educated young people.

Tourism, the main source of foreign exchange for Mauritius’s $11.25 billion economy, is on the upturn too. As the economies of northern Europe recover, and the free-spending middle classes of India increase exponentially, the number of visitors to the island has crept steadily upwards in 2015 to top 1.1 million.

Source: African Arguments
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Posted on: 21 January 2016