Doing business in Mauritius is amongst the Top 20 countries in the world according to the Doing Business Report 2019
The World Bank published the Doing Business Report 2019 on the 31st October 2018. Doing Business 2019 is the 16th in a series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulation and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies. Doing Business benchmarks aspects of business regulation and practice using specific case studies with standardized assumptions. Based on an economy’s performance in each of the 11 measured areas, the report scores the efficiency and quality of the business environment. The 11 measured areas includes starting a business, getting electricity, dealing with construction permits, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority, trading across investors borders, paying taxes, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labor market regulation.
New Zealand was the top economy this year with a EODB score of 86.9 followed by Singapore (85.24) and Denmark (84.64). The top countries exemplify a business friendly environment. Mauritius (EODB score of 79.35), is amongst the group of top 20 economies this year (the only Sub-Saharan African economy to do so). Mauritius has reformed its business environment methodically over the past decade. Following seven reforms in the area of property registration captured by Doing Business since 2005, for example, the time needed to register property has decreased more than 12 times; the time needed for business incorporation has decreased almost 10 times as a result of four reforms in starting a business.
The Mauritian government has made many changes to make it easier to do business in Mauritius leading to reform in several areas of the Doing Business 2019.
Starting a business
Starting a business is made easier by linking the database of the business registry with the database of the social security office and eliminated the requirement for married women to provide a marriage certificate when applying for a national identity card. Incorporation of a company can be completed within one day (in fact, within 2 hours) and an e-certificate is issued, free of charge. Moreover, the need to register with any other agency has been removed. Corporate and Business Registration Department (CBRD) is able to share information electronically with other Public-Sector agencies.
Increased transparency of the land administration system made registering property in Mauritius easier.
Protecting minority investors
Mauritius strengthened minority investor protections by clarifying ownership and control structures and requiring greater corporate transparency. Provisions of good corporate governance have been made mandatory on public companies for e.g. a CEO can no longer be the chair of the Board of Directors, audit reports should be made public and companies should have a separate audit committee composed only of board members.
Mauritius made paying taxes easier by introducing an expedited processing system for value added tax refunds and by upgrading its online platform to allow for the online submission of invoices and amended corporate income tax returns. Mauritius also introduced a fast track system for processing of VAT repayment claims within 15 days and the simplification of procedures to submit VAT and corporate returns. Moreover, payment of social security charges is made to the Mauritius Revenue Authority and can be lumped with other tax payment such as PAYE.
Trading across borders
Trading across borders is is now easier because of the introduction of a risk-based management system that makes exporting easier.
Improvements made in the process for application for connection to the electricity network have led to a reduction in the number of procedures, simplifying the process to obtain electricity connection.
Information technology has transformed doing business in Mauritius. Much of the reforms recognized by the World Bank stem from the investment made to improve information technology and the communication infrastructure in the country.
The Economic Development Board, Mauritius (EDB) made a statement that reforming the business environment is a continuous endeavour and the EDB remains committed to pursue the agenda to make doing business easy in Mauritius.
Please click HERE for the full Doing Business 2019 report.
Sources: Doing Business Report 2019