20 September 2018

Mauritius Set to Become a Sophisticated and Attractive Financial Centre, Says Prime Minister

Mauritius continues to play a strategic role as a trusted and fully compliant international financial centre. Government has taken bold and proactive measures and is continuously devising new policies to further transform Mauritius into a sophisticated and attractive financial centre.

The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement yesterday at the opening session of the two-day "Mauritius International Financial Centre - Forward Looking" Conference at the InterContinental Resort in Balaclava.

The Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Dharmendar Sesungkur, the Chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), Dr Renganaden Padayachy, and other eminent personalities were present at the event.

In his address, the Prime Minister highlighted that important progress has been achieved since key reforms were announced in Budget Speech 2018-2019. This, he underlined, demonstrates the importance that all stakeholders attach to our Financial Services sector, which remains one of the pillars of the country's economy.

He underscored that Government is fully committed to bring Mauritius into the league of high income countries, thus translating essential benefits to each and every citizen of this country. This, he stated, is already reflected in the positive changes noted in the main economic indicators. The country's Gross Domestic Product is forecast to grow by 4.1% in 2018-2019, with financial services growing at a comparatively faster rate of 5.5% as compared to other traditional and emerging sectors, he pointed out.

Prime Minister Jugnauth emphasised that in view of fulfilling the commitment to international organisations, Government has also brought changes to the legislative framework so as to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism. In this respect, Mauritius is currently conducting a national risk assessment of money laundering and terrorism financing, he added.

Mauritius, he underpinned, as a fully collaborative international financial centre of substance, has supported the implementation of best practices set up globally by recognised institutions. To this end, Mauritius has signed numerous agreements such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) multilateral convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters and the intergovernmental agreement with the United States for the implementation of Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act.

He outlined that another key enabler for developing the financial services sector of Mauritius to its next level is innovation and in this respect, Government is providing new opportunities for private investment and job creation by accelerating the country's move to an age of digitisation through Artificial Intelligence, blockchain technologies and FinTech. He further stated that Mauritius is leading the way by collaborating closely with the OECD and relevant stakeholders to bring blockchain technology expertise locally as well as to spearhead its dissemination and best practices in Africa.

For his part, the Chairman of the FSC, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, underscored that Mauritius is among the few countries which have witnessed a sustained growth of the financial sector after the global financial meltdown with the collapse of a number of large financial groups. He added that the FSC has commissioned a comprehensive blueprint as announced in Budget speech 2016-2017 so as to further stimulate the growth of the financial sector and the economy.

During the opening ceremony, the new logo of the FSC was officially launched. Two tripartite Memoranda of Understanding between the FSC, the Bank of Mauritius and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU); and between the FSC, the FIU and the Independent Commission Against Corruption respectively, were signed in a bid to enhance collaboration in fields where the concerned stakeholders are called upon to work together.

The Conference

The "Mauritius International Financial Centre - Forward Looking" Conference, organised at the initiative of the FSC, aims at setting the scene for the next era of development in the financial services sector as a key pillar of the economy. Focussed sessions are being conducted by renowned international speakers and industry experts on the latest trends impacting the Mauritius International Financial Centre in line with the developments happening at international level.

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