Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index 2017: Mauritius occupied the first position in Africa and is ranked 16th out of 167 countries worldwide
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy index 2017 (The “Index”), Mauritius occupied the first position in Africa with an overall score of 8.22 and is ranked 16th out of the 167 countries worldwide. Mauritius is considered as the only “fully free” democracy in Africa.
The Index is measured on a scale of 0 to 10 and only countries with scores above 8 are categories as “full” democracies. The study is based on five criteria namely the electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.
The top five countries which are considered as the most democratic countries in the world are Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark. According to the report only 4.5 percent of people live in full democracies
Mauritius Financial Services Industry Highlight
According to the latest Performance Highlights released by the Financial Services Commission (FSC), as at 30th November 2017, there has been an increase in the number of Global Business Companies (GBCs) on register, with a total of 21,435 compared to 21,203 for the same period last year. Among new applications received, the greater tendency has been for GBC1s compared to GBC2s.
In terms of the value of Portfolio Investment held by GBC1s, the FSC noted an increase from USD 106,503 million in December 2016 to USD 118,569 million in June 2017, representing a growth of 11%. This is mainly attributed to investment made into India, which totaled USD 92,612 millions in June 2017 compared to USD 81,544 million in December 2016 and which represented an increase of 14%.
Regulatory Committee on Fintech and Innovation-driven Financial Services
The Government of Mauritius instituted a Regulatory Committee on Fintech and Innovation-driven Financial Services to assist in paving the way for appropriate regulatory frameworks for encouraging and supporting the development of Fintech in Mauritius under the chairmanship of Lord Meghnad Desai from the House of Lords, UK.
The Committee met on the 9th February 2018 and discussions centred on positioning Mauritius as a regional hub of sound repute in the field of Fintech regulations and subsequent to this first meeting, the Committee will assess the current regulatory set ups with respect to Fintech and Innovation-driven Financial Services Regulations in Mauritius and make recommendations on the need to introduce new sets of regulations for Fintech and Innovation. It will also identify priority areas within the regulatory space of Fintech activities.
FDI to Mauritius increase to MUR 12.3 billion (January-September 2017)
The latest statistical release from the Bank of Mauritius (BOM) reveals a surge in inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Mauritius for the first three quarters of 2017, with FDI inflows reaching a total of MUR 12.3 billion. This amount represents an increase of 16% compared to MUR 10.6 billion registered for the previous corresponding period.
The major sectors which contribute to the Gross FDI are the Real estate, the Financial and insurance activities and Construction sectors. With regards to the source of Foreign Direct Investment, 50% of inflows came France and Luxembourg. However, South Africa and China were also important markets.
Economic Development Board officially operational
Further to the proclamation of the Economic Development Board Act 2017, the E (EDB) was officially set up on Monday 15th January 2018.
The former institutions known as the Board of Investment, Enterprise Mauritius and the Financial Services Promotion Agency have merged into this new organisation.
Operating under the aegis of the Prime Minister’s Office, the EDB has the mandate to, inter alia:
- provide strong institutional support for strategic economic planning and ensure greater coherence and effectiveness in economic policy formulation;
- promote Mauritius as an attractive investment and business centre, a competitive export platform as well as an international financial centre;
- act as the main institution responsible for country branding for investment promotion; and
- facilitate both inward and outward investment and ensure a conducive business environment.
The main objective of the EDB is to ensure greater coherence and effectiveness in implementing policies and actions, and draw the vision for the economic development path to be adopted to reach the high-income economy status. The EDB is the new entity responsible for a new growth agenda for Mauritius.
Legal Entities Identifier (LEI)
As from 1st January 2018, all legal entities which engage in certain financial transactions and listed financial instruments such as shares, bonds, warrants, amongst others, must apply for a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) code, which is a requirement by the European MiFID II directive.
An LEI is a 20-digit, alpha-numeric code that is based on the ISO 17442 standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It relates to main reference information that enables clear identification of legal entities participating in financial transactions. The publicly available LEI data pool can be regarded as a global directory which enhance transparency in the global marketplace as well as it supports higher quality and accuracy of financial data overall.
In addition, a global LEI system will provide long-term benefits to companies by clearly identifying their customers and improving internal risk management. The LEI brings along additional data relative to the company such as listed below:
- Official name of the legal entity;
- Registry name and registry number;
- Legal form of the company;
- Registered office of the headquarters;
- ISO country code;
- Date of first issue of the LEI;
- Date of the last change of the saved information; and
- Due date of the next LEI renewal.
An LEI can be applied through a Local Operating Unit (LOU) and Imara Trust may assist in the application of an LEI.