The financial sector is an emerging important pillar which can contribute significantly to the Mauritian economy in the years to come, stated the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, this morning, in Ebène.
He was speaking at a press conference during which he gave an overview of the sector's accomplishments in 2022 and the Ministry's strategic plans for year 2023 to further consolidate the sector and to project Mauritius as a regional reliable financial centre.
The Financial Services Minister highlighted that the 'financial and insurance activities' sector performed relatively well compared to other sectors of the economy in 2022 while indicating that the Financial Services Commission had issued 9471 licenses to global business institutions.
He enunciated several projects launched and implemented to combat Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) and conform to the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as well as promote the country internationally.
These are as follows: promulgation of Virtual Asset and Initial Token Act and the Variable Capital Companies Act; development of a Technical Working Assistance Group; launching of an online platform for application of licences; launching of a Single Window System; introduction of Insurance Wrappers; overseas missions; surveys to address skills mismatch and needs of operators; organisation of job fairs; and training of some 1500 personnel.
As regards Corporate Governance, the Minister indicated that out of twelve Ministries, eight have already completed evaluation exercises to address bottlenecks identified by the National Audit Office with the objective to reinforce good practices and combat fraud.
Speaking of key priorities of the sector, Minister Seeruttun said that his Ministry is developing strategies to ensure that the country remains among the top countries in ease of doing business.
Another priority, he pointed out, is to ensure the implementation of the 40 recommendations of the Blueprint for the sector mapped by Government in 2018 to develop main areas of the financial sector such as private banking, corporate banking and cross-border investment. The Minister proudly announced that Mauritius is among the rarest countries in the world to be largely compliant with the FATF recommendations. On that score he stressed on the need to consolidate legal framework in the sector to ensure compliance with the recommendations as well as to attract more investment.
As for the strategic plans for 2023, the Minister announced a series of activities with the aim to put in place the right eco-system to attract businesses. These include:holding of a workshop from 26 to 31 January 2023; reviewing the National Risk Assessment; introducing a new AML/CFT Miscellaneous Provisions Bill and a new Securities Bill; developing an Environmental Social and Corporate Governance framework; making the Financial Services Institute an awarding body; devising a national Fintech strategy; implementing the National Insurance Claims database project; organising a FinExpo and a job fair; developing a Corporate Governance Research Centre; and, hosting the second edition of the Annual Corporate Governance Conference.
Minister Seeruttun also indicated that his Ministry will be working on several projects in collaboration with the Economic Development Board and other financial institutions to make Mauritius more visible and attract new investors from India, Africa, USA, and Hong Kong.