Mauritius: a beautiful and sound investment

Real estate in Mauritius is in high demand, largely thanks to the Mauritian government’s decision to invest time, resources and money into changing the way the country attracts and conducts business, both locally and internationally. “This initiative has enabled the country to showcase itself as much more than just an ideal destination for a tropical island holiday,” explains Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

Part of the SADC region, Mauritius boasts a strong and diversified economy that offers a number of fiscal benefits, including a flat corporate and personal tax rate of 15%, the absence of inheritance and capital gains tax, no foreign exchange controls, trade barriers or quotas, and no restrictions on capital repatriation. Goslett explains that over and above these benefits, Mauritius is a politically and economically stable country, with a strong financial and off-shore sector, modern and reliable IT and telecommunications infrastructure, and a comprehensive legal framework, which makes it ideal for long-term investment.

Daniel Poupinel and Dominique Le Clezio joint Broker/Owners of RE/MAX Properties in Mauritius, say that the Mauritian property market has been performing relatively well despite the recent economic downturn. “The Mauritian economy showed some resilience in the fourth quarter of 2009. Despite the global situation and domestic developments, indicators point to economic growth reaching 4,2% in 2010.”

They note that the property market remains relatively buoyant, due to the government’s stimulus package incentive: “New office buildings such as the Nextracom in Ebene, Ebene Tower, and Hennessy Tower in Port Louis are on course to meet completion deadlines and have met with market demand, predominantly from the Malagasy market. Office rental prices have remained static and they believe that it will remain so due to the market upturn.”

According to Daniel Poupinel and Dominique Le Clezio the improved investment expectation is a result of the Mauritian government’s ability to achieve its targeted capital expenditure objectives: “Investment should pick up this year as a result of better structure for business operation and more positive approach. Private investment will benefit from the introduction and implementation of the Mauritian Jinfei Economic Trade and co-operative zone project. The government has also pledged to boost public infrastructure spending for a selection of ongoing projects, such as road and air transport networks, which is set to lift the investment ratio in 2010 by approximately 30 basis points to 25,7% of GDP.”

Currently, Poupinel de Valence says that RE/MAX Properties is involved in marketing and selling the exclusive Artamon Villas: “The Artamon development consists of 14 free-standing villas, all carefully positioned to ensure privacy and protection from the elements. Each villa is nestled in its own secluded garden and includes a barbecue area and sparkling pool; all essential for outdoor living.”

With its Real Estate Scheme (RES) accreditation, the Artamon Villa development is the perfect acquisition for a non-Mauritian wishing to buy property and reside on the island, he explains: “The RES was introduced in 2007 and was especially conceived on a smaller, more affordable scale than its ‘sister scheme’, the IRS. In December 2008, the law was amended to include residence permits with each RES villa sold to foreigners. The minimum purchase price required to qualify for residence status under the RES is US$500 000. The government of Mauritius has also made it possible for foreigners to make the payment in any currency.”

It is easy to understand why demand for Mauritian real estate is on the up and up – here are some of the more notable advantages of investing and/or living in Mauritius:

  • High-quality infrastructure with superb transportation.
  • Democracy and a steady government.
  • Free market financial system fastened on export slanting activities.
  • Excellent system of sea and air transport.
  • High standard of living, good international schools.
  • A highly educated, bilingual and responsive work force.
  • Knowledgeable financial segment providing outstanding services.
  • Constructive market contact and good inducements.

Over and above this, to attract foreign investors, the Mauritian government has assured various other enticements, such as:

  • No tax is to be charged on dividends.
  • No sales tax, customs or duty charges are charged on equipment and raw materials.
  • Gratis return of profits, bonus and funds.
  • There is no capital expansion in tax.
  • 50 % release on individual income tax for emigrant employees.

With its proximity to South Africa, Mauritius is fast becoming the most desired lifestyle destination, explains Poupinel de Valence. “The majority of South African investors in Mauritius are permanent residents of the island as well. Mauritius is an island of beautiful contrasts and colourful tapestry which makes it intoxicatingly appealing for those who seek something special. This combined with the attractive financial benefits of investing and living here, makes it an idyllic place to call home.”

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