Mauritius Economy Facts

Economical overview

Mauritius is one of Africa’s strongest economies, where fewer than one in ten people are considered poor. On the UN agency’s list of human development, Mauritius ranks second highest among sub-Saharan countries. Only the Seychelles are ranked higher.

Since independence from the British in 1968, Mauritius has evolved from an agricultural country to an industrial and service nation, although sugar production still provides important export earnings. The four cornerstones of the economy are now sugar production, textile manufacturing, tourism and financial services.

  • Major imports by Mauritius, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.

Tourism is the third largest source of income in foreign currency, second only to the manufacturing industry and agriculture. The number of foreign tourists increased from 422,000 in 1995 to more than 965,000 in 2012 (see Tourism).

Fight against corruption

The financial sector with banks, investment and insurance companies has grown sharply since the mid-1990s, and in 2013 it accounted for 22 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). In 2000, Mauritius was singled out by the economic cooperation organization OECD as a tax haven suspected of accepting money laundering. Since then, the authorities have introduced new rules to increase transparency in companies and banks and are now considered to have an essentially sound financial system. In 2002, an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) was established. In 2013, Mauritius was the second least corrupt country in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Transparency International. Only Botswana was less corrupt.

Governments have made major investments since the beginning of the 2000s to make the country a center for IT and telecommunications. Large investments in IT education have been made in the schools.

  • Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including MUS which represents the country of Mauritius. Check findjobdescriptions to learn more about Mauritius.

Mauritius had an annual growth of over five percent in 1980–2000. Growth then slowed down due to the economic crisis in Asia 2000, severe drought in 1998–2000 and the cyclone Dina’s progress in 2002 which led to reduced sugar production. At the same time, unemployment increased, inflation rose, as did the external debt, and the consequences of the low level of education and the aging population began to become evident. In a new trade agreement in 2005, Mauritius also lost the favorable conditions that the country had in the European and American markets for sugar and textile exports.

Continued economic growth

When the coalition government led by the Labor Party came to power in 2005, a radical reversal of economic policy was launched, with sharply reduced state involvement in the economy. The labor market was liberalized, investments were made on small businesses and a new fixed income and corporate tax was introduced. During the years 2003-2008, growth was five percent per year to decrease to four percent in 2010 due to the recession in Europe which affected not only trade but also the increasingly important tourism sector.

The costs of developing the education system and infrastructure projects led to a growing budget deficit. Foreign debt amounted to nearly $ 3 billion in 2013.

The Labor Party-led coalition government, which had power in 2010–2014, promised greater investment in infrastructure and the country’s poor. A five-year plan was launched with increased investments in the fishing, sugar and textile industries as well as in the tourism sector. In 2013, the government sought to increase domestic demand through government initiatives on, for example, entrepreneurs and lower taxes.

The government’s measures yielded results and in 2011–2014, annual growth was around 3-4%. While the financial, tourism and manufacturing industries performed well, however, sugar production and the construction industry continued to show declining numbers.

The government that took office after the December 2014 elections also had an improved economy as the primary election promise.


GDP per person

US $ 11,239 (2018)

Total GDP

US $ 14,220 million (2018)

GDP growth

3.8 percent (2018)

Agriculture’s share of GDP

2.8 percent (2018)

Manufacturing industry’s share of GDP

11.4 percent (2018)

The service sector’s share of GDP

67.4 percent (2018)


0.9 percent (2019)

Government debt’s share of GDP

66.2 percent (2018)

External debt

US $ 10 483 million (2017)



Merchandise exports

US $ 2,372 million (2018)


US $ 5,387 million (2018)

Current account

– US $ 815 million (2018)

Commodity trade’s share of GDP

57 percent (2018)

Main export goods

various industrial products, especially textiles and clothing, sugar, flowers and fish

Largest trading partner

EU, South Africa, India, China, USA



State visit to India

Prime Minister Ramgoolam makes a state visit to India.

The social alliance is growing

The opposition party PMSD changes sides and joins the ruling Social Alliance.


Media climate is getting tougher

The media climate hardens shortly after the change of government. Prime Minister Ramgoolam launches a state boycott of the privately owned media group La Sentinelle, which publishes, among other things, the newspaper L´Express. Ramgoolam accuses La Sentinelle of supporting the opposition. He bans all ministries, government institutions and libraries and the state airline Air Mauritius to subscribe to or advertise in L´Express. Newspaper journalists from not attending the government’s press conferences.

The Social Alliance wins elections

The five-party coalition Social Alliance, in which Mauritius’s Labor Party (MLP) is the dominant party, wins the parliamentary election with 42 out of 70 seats. 24 mandates go to the Alliance MSM-MMM, which in addition to the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM) and Mauritius Militant Movement (MMM) also includes the Mauritius Social Democratic Party (PMSD). The remaining 2 mandates go to the Rodrigues People (PR) Organization. The turnout is 81.5 percent.

MLP party leader Navim Ramgoolam becomes prime minister in the new coalition government, which consists of a total of 19 ministers.

Mauritius Economy Facts

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