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Press Releases, 9/12/2007

The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Mauritius to visit Finland

Press release 177/2007
11 September, 2007

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Mauritius Ramakrishna Sithanen will visit Finland on 12-14 September. During the visit, on Wednesday, 12 September, an investment protection agreement will be signed between Finland and Mauritius.

In addition to meetings with Finnish ministers, Minister Sithanen's itinerary in Finland will also include visits in several Finnish companies and research institutes.

Mauritius is one of the few success stories in Africa. The political circumstances in this state with slightly over a million inhabitants are stable and, in recent years, the economy has grown at a relatively steady annual rate of 5-6 per cent. By means of an investment protection agreement, the countries aim to establish – by African standards - an excellent business environment for Finnish companies and investors, so that they could take as high advantage as possible of Mauritius' open investment atmosphere, the developed financing sector and the expanding free trade. In addition, corporate taxation in the country is very moderate.

The basic pillars of Mauritius' economy are sugar, textile industry, tourism and services, including financing services. The favourable development of Mauritius has been based on the high export revenues from sugar, provided by the most-favoured nation status. The goal of increased freedom in world trade is a major challenge for Mauritius. The government has made a commitment to economic reforms aimed to improve the country's competitive position in the world economy and renew the sugar production sector. The EU has promised to provide financial support for these reforms.

Mauritius has answered the challenges its economy is facing by diversifying the country's economic structure and developing, for instance, the information and telecommunication sector. Mauritius has been interested in cooperation with Finland in order to develop its information and telecommunication sector, and the countries have had exchange programmes within the field. Thanks to the success of the telecommunication sector, Finland has become one of the most important countries Mauritius is importing from. Mauritius has various business opportunities to offer for other Finnish companies as well.

Mauritius has been an active participant in the development of the economic co-operation in the Indian Ocean region. The country aims to take full advantage of its strategic position in the trading triangle formed by India, Australia and South Africa. The country is making significant investments in the development of its harbour capacity and is seeking a status as kind of a wholesale point for trade between Asia and Africa.

The most important target countries for Mauritian exports are Great Britain, France, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Madagascar. The most important importers to Mauritius include France, India, China, South Africa, Germany, and Finland

Additional information: Commercial Counsellor Kimmo Sinivuori, tel. +358 9 1605 6167 and Project Assistant Petri Wanner, tel. +358 9 1605 6244, firstname.surname@formin.fi

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Updated 9/12/2007

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