Mauritius: The Juristconsult Investment Summit 2022, themed ‘Innovation, Sustainability and Investment Ecosystems of Mauritius’, was held yesterday at the Andrea Lodges in Saint Aubin.
The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, and the Chairman of Juristconsult Chambers, Mr Marc Hein, delivered their remarks at the opening of the Summit. The Governor of the Bank of Mauritius, Mr Harvesh Seegolam, was also present at the event.
At the end of the one-day Summit, the concluding remarks were given by the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun.
Delivering his keynote address at the opening ceremony, Minister Padayachy emphasised that Mauritius is positioned as a compliant jurisdiction of international standards to serve the region for robust, equitable and inclusive development of the country and the African continent. Ensuring an upward trajectory against the backdrop of global crises, such as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, was also highlighted by the Minister.
Speaking on the importance of the financial services sector for the economy, he pointed out that it is one of the most dynamic, resilient and performing sectors which has resisted the shocks of the pandemic. For the year 2022, he observed, the financial services sector will contribute 13% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The financial services centre has evolved and adapted to a growing and diversified demand with a panoply of tailored products and services, he added.
Expressing optimism about the positive outlook of the economy, Dr Padayachy mentioned that the GDP will stand at 7.2% in 2022 and above 5% in 2023. He indicated that the GDP would surpass the historical mark of MUR 550 bn in 2022.
The unemployment rate will decrease by 7.8% in 2022, and investment will exceed MUR 120 billion, he added. The Government, he stated, is highly engaged in the continued development and diversification of the economy through an ambitious investment strategy adding that Foreign Direct Investment remains the priority of the Government. To this end, he called upon the continuous dialogue between the public and private sectors.
The political and social stability, as well as bilingual manpower, are the key potentials of the country to further promote cross-border investment and trade, stated the Minister. “We are the only Sub-Saharan African country along with Botswana to have the Investment Grade status”, he said. The Minister also spoke of Mauritius’ adherence to the highest standards of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Also speaking at the opening, Mr Hein reaffirmed that the Jurisconsult Chambers affiliated with DLA Piper Africa has always been at the forefront of business law and innovation in Mauritius. “Following the pandemic situation, it is essential to rebuild confidence in the economy and trust in the mind of business entrepreneurs”, he observed.
As for Minister Seeruttun, in his address at the closing of the Summit, he remarked that Mauritius would certainly continue to play a decisive and impactful role in unlocking Africa’s multi-billion-dollar investment opportunities. “We are embedding Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) thinking in our policy decisions to create a more sustainable environment for investments to happen”, he said.
Underlining several key initiatives, he pointed out that his Ministry is working in collaboration with the National Committee on Corporate Governance on an ESG Framework to achieve the vision of continual improvement in ESG performance.
Other initiatives include the launching of the FSC One platform to make regulatory service accessible at a click; the recent enactment of the Variable Capital Companies Act which places Mauritius at par with other best-in-class jurisdictions such as Singapore; and the enactment of the Virtual asset and Initial Token Offerings Act which provides a legislative framework for both virtual asset service providers and initial token offerings.
The Summit brought together key players in the Financial Services Industry and provided stakeholders an opportunity to discuss the challenges faced by companies and jurisdictions in Mauritius in that field.
It covered various topics related to Wealth Management; ESG; Investment Funds; Protection of Investment – Litigation/Arbitration; Data Protection importance in Investments; Real Estate Investment & Sustainable Financing; Blockchain; and the Mauritius International Financial Centre.