The Mauritian Economy

This project is based on the economy of Mauritius and its development since its independence in 1968. In just 4 decades, Mauritius has grown from an isolated mono-crop dependent country into a services-led economy enjoying persistent growth. Mauritius is considered as a role-model for other developing countries for being a sustainable and resilient economy. The Mauritian economy rests on five pillars, namely sugar, tourism, textile, financial services and ICT. It is a mixed economy as the government works in collaboration with the private sector POSITION OF MAURITIUS IN THE WORLD.

The country has a business-friendly environment and ranks 24th in the World Bank Doing Business Survey 2009. A low tax jurisdiction with investment opportunities in several areas, Mauritius has of late attracted surging amounts of FDI. The country is also enjoying a growing reputation as one of the world’s top 25 outsourcing destinations. Mauritius ranks 46th out of 182 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2011, third in Africa. Mauritius is one of Africa’s least corrupt countries.

In 2002, the government adopted the Prevention of Corruption Act, which led to the setting up of an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) a few months later. The ICAC has the power to detect and investigate corruption and money-laundering offenses and can also confiscate the proceeds of corruption and money laundering. Corruption is not seen as an obstacle to foreign direct investment. DIFERRENT SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY Mauritius is dependent on three sectors namely: 1. The Primary Sector 2. The Secondary Sector 3. The Tertiary Sector.

THE PRIMARY SECTOR THE PRIMARY SECTOR The Primary Sector refers to those firms which produce natural resources by growing plants like wheat and barley, digging for minerals, such as coal and copper, or breeding animals, are called primary firms and belong to the primary section or primary industry in an economy. Primary means it is the first stage of production, as many of the raw materials grown or dug out of the ground are used to produce something else. Primary industries are also called extractive industries. AGRICULTURE IN MAURITIUS Introduction.

When Mauritius gained independence in 1968, it was known as a Monocrop economy, and the agricultural sector was dominated by ‘king’ sugar. 25% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, 96% of exports, and 52% of employment formed part of the export-oriented sugar sector in the 1970s. With the effect of diversification, new sectors have emerged and the Mauritian economy has undergone a structural transformation over the past three decades by moving from the primary sector to the secondary sector that is the manufacturing sector. This process is also known as industrialisation.

Hence, the contribution of agriculture to Gross Domestic Product has been constantly declining. The shift in GDP composition within a decade was remarkable: the sugar industry which accounted for 25% in the I970s reduced its GDP share to 1 5% in the 1 980s, while the manufacturing sector GDP share grew up to 25% in the 1 980s. Agriculture and Land-Use The total area of Mauritius is 194,494 hectares, out of which, about 110,796 hectares are productive agricultural lands. The crops produced in Mauritius are sugarcane, tea, tobacco, groundnut, maize, onion, garlic, potato, other vegetables, fruits, and flowers.

The recent rise in global food prices caused by the severe shortages presented an opportunity to boost local food production and increase the country’s self-sufficiency level. The government is pushing the agricultural sector in this direction through food security strategies that are already bearing fruit. An innovative step is the local cultivation of rice with the aim of supplying the domestic market and for export. Closer to home in Mauritius, the dairy farming sector has become more technological with the opening of hi-tech dairy farms.

In addition, the government is facilitating the technological upgrade of small regional cow breeding cooperatives. The government has been giving grants and subsidies to producers in order to supply more and increase productivity. Milk pasteurisation and packing plants are already operational in Mauritius. Development of the agribusiness sector is very high on the agenda of the Board Of Investment(BOI). It plans to attract further foreign investment in areas such as large-scale hydroponic farming, animal feed production, cattle breeding and high value added food processing for export.

IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE IN MAURITIUS Despite the fall in the primary sector, Agriculture remains one of the main economic activities of Mauritius. Its importance is explained by the following facts: * Agriculture occupies more than half of the land area * Agriculture produces food and raw materials * A large number of people are employed in agriculture and agriculture-related jobs * Many agricultural goods are produced for export * The net foreign exchange earnings from the export of agriculture goods are greater than those of any other exported good.

THE SUGAR INDUSTRY The Sugar Industry Historically, sugar cane cultivation has been the main agricultural activity in Mauritius. As the era of guaranteed price and quota free access for Mauritian produced sugar on the EU market under the sugar protocol of the lome convention, comes to an end as such preferential treatment was gradually eroded with increasing globalisation of trade. The traditional sugar industry has now transformed itself into a sugar cane cluster producing several types of sugar as well as electricity from bagasse and ethanol.

Sugar contributed 53% of value added in the agricultural sector in 2002, clearly illustrating the dominance of sugar in agriculture . However, the share of the sugar sector in GDP, employment and exports earnings have been following a downward trend over the years. In 2002, 570,000 tonnes of sugar were exported, mainly to European Union, bringing in more than Rs 8 bn as foreign exchange revenue. Sugar accounted for only 4. 1 % of GDP at basic prices, 5% in total employment and 20% of domestic exports in 2002, as compared to 9. 6%, 10. 3 % and 28% respectively in 1992.

The estimated sugar production in 2003 was approximately 530,000 tonnes. The main export market for mauritian sugar is the European Union under the Sugar Protocol. A fair amount goes to the US and a very small quantity is sold on the world market as shown in the following table. Markets| 1998/1999| 1999/2000| 2000/2001| 2001/2002| | Quantity(Thousand tonnes)| European Union| 601| 370| 559| 592| United States| 19| 3| 4| 20| World Market| 4| -| 6| 7| . Furthermore, the rising cost of production fuelled by rise in labour costs remains a structural problem afflicting the sugar industry.

To enhance overall competitiveness of the sugar sector, the Government and the private sector have joined forces — efforts are underway to rationalise costs through centralisation and increased mechanisation of sugar cane fields, a diversification programme in particular into energy production has been implemented, research for desugarisation of molasses to increase total sugar production is being currently experimented. It is also expected that these measures will result into lower costs of production for sugar.

On the external front, the sugar industry is exporting its know-how in sugar producing countries of the region such as Mozambique, Benin, Tanzania and Ivory Coast, through equity participation or take-over bids. These undertakings constitute a definite contribution towards consolidating economic integration of Mauritius into the region. With increasing calls for greater trade liberalisation, trade preferences enjoyed by the country so far with its major trading partners like the EU may come under serious threat.

The local sugar industry will face hard competition from huge producers of sugar like Brazil, which have very low costs of production, made possible by significant economies of scale. Sugar Milling and Production In the 60’s there were about 25 sugar factories, by 1990 it had dropped to 19, in 1995 there were 17 left and in 2001 there were only 16 still operating. This downward trend will continue because centralisation of sugar production in as few as four or five factories islandwide is one of the few means still available for the industry to maintain its viability.

Sugar production, on the other hand, has maintained itself rather steadily over the years in spite of a reduction in surface area under cultivation and in the number of factories. This is due to the steady introduction into cultivation of new sugarcane cultivars made possible by the work of the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute (MSIRI). The 16 sugar mills process about 6,000,000 tons of sugar canes yearly, harvesting extends from June to December. The sugar cane harvest can vary from year to year depending on the prevailing climatic conditions.

Severe cyclones or droughts (like in 1999) can drastically reduce both the harvest and the extraction rate of sugar from sugar canes. SUGAR PRODUCTION AND EXPORTS| Year| Production (tonnes)| Exports (tonnes)| Earnings (Rs millions) | 1991/92| 611,300| 567,000| 5340. 0| 1992/93| 643,200| 599,800| 5900. 0| 1993/94| 565,000| 526,200| 5841. 1| 1994/95| 500,200| 470,300| 5674. 7| 1995/96| 539,500| 535,500| 6937. 2| 1996/97| 588,500| 584,900| 8010. 2| 1997/98| 620,100| 616,500| 8229. 0| 1998/99| 628,500| 624,900| 9211. 2| 1999/00| 373,300| 373,300| 5336. 8| 2000/01| 569,300| 569,000| 7500. 7| 2001/02| 645,600| 618,800| 9019. 0|.

IMPORTANCE OF SUGARCANE: Sugarcane is the most important crop in Mauritius because of the following reasons; * The climate and soil are suitable for its cultivation. * The planters have long experience in its cultivation. * The infrastructure for the processing of sugarcane, storage and marketing of sugar is available and has been improved. * Mauritius has a guaranteed market for the sale of sugar to the European Common Market. * Sugarcane is less susceptible to cyclones. * Different varieties of sugarcane have been produced locally. This has made it possible to grow sugarcane in the humid, sub-humid and dry regions of the island.

* The by-products of sugarcane are of economic importance. * Molasses are exported. Tea Tea, unlike sugarcane, is grown only in some regions of Mauritius. These regions lie on the central plateau where rainfall is high and the soil is easily drained. Mauritius produced 36,162 tones of green tea leaves in 1988, from which 6,854 tones of black tea (dried tea) were manufactured. 79. 3% of the Mauritian tea is exported. Our revenues from tea depend on its price on the world market. As the price of tea fluctuates(changes), the revenues from it are not stable and has been abandoned by most farmers.

Around 7,000 tonnes of tea are produced annually, mostly destined for the local market. Only Rs 1 mn worth of tea was exported in 2002. Cultivation of tea plants at Bois Cheri in Mauritius Tobacco In Mauritius, Tobacco is grown mostly in the districts of Pamplemousses, Riviere du Rempart and Flacq. It grows well under a warm climate and in sandy soil. 967 tones of tobacco leaves were produced in 1988. All the tobacco produced locally is used in making cigarettes which are consumed locally Tobacco plant Potatoes Since 2011, Mauritius has embarked in self-sufficient in potatoes.

However, when the crop is affected by cyclones, droughts or diseases there is a temporary shortage on the market. In such circumstances, the Agricultural Marketing Board imports a certain quantity to make up for this shortage. In 1988, 12,770 tones of potatoes were produced and sold on the local market. They are mainly grown in the interlines of sugarcane. Normally, one tone of “seed” can yield eight tones of potatoes. Parts of the seeds are produced locally and the rest is imported by the Agricultural Marketing Board Tonnes of potatoes are harvested each year in Mauritius Vegetables Vegetables are grown almost all over the island.

However, some regions are more suitable for the cultivation of some of them. The production of vegetables is seasonable. With certain vegetables are in abundance, their prices are relatively low. During off-seasons and owing to adverse climatic conditions, vegetables become scarce and very expensive. Mauritius is self-sufficient in vegetables. They are produced mainly by the sugar estates and vegetable growers. Vegetables are mostly consumed fresh. They contain vitamins and minerals which are important in our diet. The dominant crops produced are potato, tomato, onion, carrots, cabbage, and creepers.

In 2002, 103,876 tonnes of foodcrops were produced for 7,262 hectares harvested. Out of this, potato production amounted to 13,339 tonnes, tomato 11,738 tonnes, and onions 7,000 tonnes. Exports of vegetables and fruits represent a very small amount of total agricultural exports. In 2002, this figure amounted to only 0. 3%. We can often see Mauritian families grow vegetables in their gardens Fruits Many fruits are grown in Mauritius but only bananas, pineapples and watermelons are produced on a commercial scale. Seasonal fruits like litchis, avocadoes, longanes and mangoes are mostly produced in orchards and in private yards.

A small quantity of local fruits is exported. Local fruits are very rich in minerals and vitamins and should be consumed regularly. The local fruit production does not meet our demand. A large quantity of fruits is imported especially during winter when the local production is low. The government is encouraging the cultivation of citrus fruits to reduce imports . AvocadoesMangoes Flowers A large variety of flowers are grown in places like Vacoas, Moka and Quatre-Bornes. Only anthurium, andreanum and orchids are grown on a commercial scale for export. In 1988, 5. 9 million anthurium flowers worth Rs 23.

2 million were exported. However, there is a demand for more and therefore the cultivation of such flowers should be encouraged. Cut flowers and foliage is an export-oriented sector. The main flowers produced are anthuriums and roses. Mauritius exports more than Rs 100 million worth of cut flowers and foliage, principally to the EU, per annum. Programmes to improve the quality of the local products, as well as research in new varieties of fruits and flowers are expected to lead to enhanced exports. Livestock Production in Mauritius Mauritius is a small country and does not have enough pastures for grazing.

The population consumes large quantities of beef, mutton, goat’s meat and chicken. The bulk of beef is imported. A relatively small quantity of meat is produced by the sugar estates in feedlots and ranches while by small farmers in stables. The animals are fed with canetops, grass and commercial animal feed. Mauritius is almost self-sufficient in chicken. Chicken is produced by large commercial enterprises and also by small farmers. The birds are fed with chicken feed processed by the local feed factories. Deer is raised in chassees ad in feedlots. During the hunting period, venison is available on the market.

Fisheries Sector Mauritius has a large Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 1. 9 million km? rich in pelagic and deep-sea species. The fishing industry contributes approximately 1 per cent to Gross Domestic Product, and foreign exchange earnings from exports of fish average US$ 130 million per annum. Fish production in 2002 was approximately 9,200 tonnes. In Mauritius, industrial fishing, fishing along the banks and traditional fishing outside the lagoon are practiced. Fish caught in the shoals located around the island are frozen and sold for local consumption.

Tuna is canned for the local market and for export. Actually, more than 48,000 tonnes of tuna are processed annually for exports to EU. The Government is envisaging the possibility of creating a regional seafood industry in the country, based on the transhipment and processing of fish products. THE SECONDARY SECTOR THE SECONDARY SECTOR Using natural resources to make other goods is a process called manufacturing and firms that engage in this activity belong to the manufacturing or secondary industry. For example, compact disks are made from plastics made from oil.

Cars and vans, and many of their component parts, are made from metals and plastics, and glass is made from sand. Paper and cardboard products are made from pulped wood. Construction firms using materials to build homes, offices, roads and other infrastructure are also part of the secondary sector in an economy THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY Over the past three decades, the manufacturing industry has been an engine of economic growth, generated thousands of new jobs and propelled this island-nation towards prosperity. Manufactured exports have brought about a structural transformation of the Mauritian economy.

| The textile industry is one of the main pillars of the Mauritian economy. In order to fight unemployment, which was rampant, the government created the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in 1971. In terms of employment figures, the manufacturing sector absorbed 30% of the total workforce in 1 999, of which the Export Processing Zone(EPZ )sectors accounted for. It has undergone many changes in its almost thirty years of existence. Equipped with a high skilled labour force and efficient management practices, Mauritius manufactures products of excellence like Boss, Ralph Lauren, etc.

for export towards the EU and USA. Great emphasis is laid on quality control. | The textile and clothing industry accounts for 12% of gross domestic product (GDP), employs nearly 77,000 people out of a workforce of 550,000 and generates about 65% of export earnings (USD 1. 1 billion). Employment in this sector increased by about 13% from 1995 to 1999 but it has now stabilised mainly through gains in productivity [1]. With trade liberalisation, the Mauritian textile and clothing industry is now faced with a number of short and medium-term challenges, on both the internal and external fronts.

These relate mainly to elimination of trade preferences, exchange rate fluctuations, relatively slow pace of restructuration and diversification, increased competition from low-cost manufacturers, rising costs of air and sea freight, and low penetration of new markets. Faced with growing unemployment (about 10%, March 2004), accelerated economic growth to create jobs and improve standard of living is on top of government’s agenda . Textiles and apparel will remain one of Mauritius’s key manufacturing sectors but a new mindset is critical for the renewed health of the industry.

The sector has no option but to invest in product and design innovation through research, new technology, highly skilled workers and successful marketing. How we innovate, how we use materials and machines in new ways and anticipate consumer demands will dictate the future of the Mauritian textile and clothing industry. Besides textiles the Export Processing Zone has also got companies which are involved in the production of light engineering goods, jewellery, printing and publishing, electronics, high precision plastics, information technology and pharmaceutical products.

Most of the goods are produced for the export market. Jewellery Pharmaceutical products THE TERTIARY SECTOR THE TERTIARY SECTOR A great many firms do not produce any goods at all. Many sell goods, transport them, or provide financial services like the banks or insurance companies. A school provides an education service, a local hospital a health service. There are also many more personal services, like hairdressers, window-cleaners, tailors, gardeners. All these firms provide a service and belong to the service sector in the economy.

Collectively they are also known as the tertiary industry, or service sector, because many of these firms provide the finals link in the chain of production by selling goods to the consumer. However, it is clear that without services like, transport, insurance and many others ,primary and secondary firms would find it hard to produce anything. THE SERVICES SECTOR The Mauritian economy has undergone a marked structural transformation over the past three decades, with the relative importance of agriculture declining significantly and that of manufacturing increasingly considerably.

The share of the services sector in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been fairly stable since the early 1980s. In fact, services make the largest contribution to GDP and to total employment. There has also been an important increase in trade in services. A closer look at the services sector shows that its three largest subsectors are: * Wholesale and retail trade, restaurants, and hotels * Financing, insurance, real estate, and business services * Transport, storage, and communication. The ranking of the first subsector reflects the high level of importance of tourism in Mauritius.

The other two subsectors consist of producer services, and their ranking indicates the importance of a whole range of complementary services required to support economic growth and development. The services sector also offered more employment opportunities than either agriculture or manufacturing. At present, services provide around 60 percent of total employment in large establishments. As expected, the contribution of agriculture declined significantly whereas that of manufacturing increased considerably. With the rapid expansion of the Mauritius Export Processing Zone (MEPZ), total exports of goods increased significantly.

Imports of raw materials and machinery, required to support the expansion of the manufacturing sector, also increased. Total trade in goods (exports plus imports) in fact grew much faster than total trade in services in spite of the rapid expansion of the tourist sector. However, this trend has been reversed as from the early 1990s. At present Mauritius is diversifying more towards the financial services and tourism. The Mauritian economy is mainly driven by the tertiary sector which generates close to 70 per cent of GDP. That sector grew by 6 per cent in 2008, slightly lower than the 6. 7 per cent rate for 2007.

Tourism has been an important engine of the country’s sustained economic growth. However, the picture of the Mauritian tourism industry in 2008 is quite different from that of previous years. By all accounts, the upward trend in tourist arrivals has experienced a setback. After having grown by an impressive 14 per cent in 2007, the number of tourist arrivals grew by only 3. 1 per cent in 2008 to reach 935 000. There are two main explanations for this poor performance: the global slowdown and, to a lesser extent, the appreciation of the Mauritian rupee vis-a-vis the currencies of the main tourism markets.

The effects of the global slowdown in 2009 will undoubtedly reduce the number of tourist arrivals from traditional markets. Of particular concern is the prospect of a prolonged recession in France and the UK, the two largest tourist markets for Mauritius. Tourism Since 1988, Government’s stated policy towards tourism in Mauritius has been to emphasize low-impact, high-spending tourism, so as to maintain the island’s up market profile, as a Iuxury beach holiday destination. The GOP contribution of the tourism sector which was 2% in mid 1 increased marginally to 3% in mid 1 980s and reached 5% in 1 998.

Tourist arrivals in mid 1 hovered over 200,000 and reached 578,100 in 1999 indicating the growing popularity of Maui as a holiday destination. The 1990s witnessed a dramatic change in the structure of tourist arrivals by country of residence. Back in 1990, South Africa and Reunion Island were the main sources, but in 1999, 66% of arrivals came from Europe with 30% from France. The tourism sector witnessed significant growth rates in mid 1980s of almost 20%. In 1998 this sector remains fastest growing sector of the Mauritian economy registering a growth rate of 6%.

Gross to earnings have continued to increase since the mid 1980s, from Rs. 1 . 8 billion in 1987 to read 13. 7 billion in 1999. Direct employment in the tourism sector in 1999 was 3. 4% of total workforce. Business and Financial services Mauritius provides an environment for banks, insurance and reinsurance companies, captive insurance managers, trading companies, ship owners or managers, fund managers and professionals to conduct their international business. The economic success achieved in the 1980s engendered the rapid growth of the financial services sector in Mauritius.

The following types of offshore activities can be conducted in Mauritius: * Offshore Banking * Offshore Insurance * Offshore Funds Management * International Financial Services * Operational Headquarters * International Consultancy Services * Shipping and Ship Management * Aircraft Financing and Leasing * International Licensing and Franchising * International Data Processing and Information Technology Services * Offshore Pension Funds * International Trading * International Assets Management * International Employment Services Board of Investment.

The Mauritius Board of Investment is an agency of the Government of Mauritius whose aim is to promote and facilitate investment in Mauritius. The Board of Investment targets the international business community and is responsible for attracting international investment and talents in the country. Mauritius – mortality rate Mortality rate, under-5 (per 1,000 live births) The value for Mortality rate, under-5 (per 1,000 live births) in Mauritius was 15. 10 as of 2010. Definition: Under-five mortality rate is the probability per 1,000 that a newborn baby will die before reaching age five, if subject to current age-specific mortality rates.

Mortality rate; infant (per 1000 live births) in Mauritius The Mortality rate; infant (per 1;000 live births) in Mauritius was last reported at 13 in 2010, according to a World Bank report published in 2012. Infant mortality rate is the number of infants dying before reaching one year of age, per 1,000 live births in a given year. This page includes a historical data chart for mortality rate infant (per 1000 live births) in Mauritius. World Bank Indicators – mauritius – Mortality | Previous| Last| Completeness of infant death reporting (% of reported infant deaths to estimated infant deaths) in Mauritius | 100.

0| | Completeness of total death reporting (% of reported total deaths to estimated total deaths) in Mauritius | 99. 8| | Life expectancy at birth; female (years) in Mauritius | 76. 1| 76. 1| Life expectancy at birth; male (years) in Mauritius | 69. 2| 69. 2| Life expectancy at birth; total (years) in Mauritius | 72. 6| 72. 6| Mortality rate; adult; female (per 1;000 female adults) in Mauritius | 106. 6| 105. 1| Mortality rate; adult; male (per 1;000 male adults) in Mauritius | 212. 0| 209. 9| Mortality rate; infant (per 1;000 live births) in Mauritius | 13. 4| 13. 3| Mortality rate; under-5 (per 1;000) in Mauritius | 15.

6| 15. 4| Survival to age 65; female (% of cohort) in Mauritius | 81. 3| 81. 4| Survival to age 65; male (% of cohort) in Mauritius | 66. 6| 66. 6| | TRADE BETWEEN MAURITIUS AND OTHER COUNTRIESINTRODUCTIONThe orientation of Mauritius toward other countries is influenced by its location, resources, colonial past, domestic politics, and economic imperatives. Mauritius has particularly strong relations with Britain, France, India, and since 1990 with South Africa. A member of the Commonwealth, Mauritius recognized Queen Elizabeth II as head of state until it became a republic in 1992.

Mauritius enjoys warm political relations and important economic ties with Britain, and receives significant development and technical assistance. FRANCE: Another former colonial power, provides Mauritius with its largest source of financial aid, and also promotes the use of the French language in Mauritius. In addition to trade, in which France has traditionally been Mauritius’s largest supplier as well as its largest or second largest customer, particularly of textiles, France provides Mauritius with numerous kinds of assistance.

For example, France has helped computerize the island’s government ministries, has performed road feasibility studies and highway maintenance, has undertaken livestock services and the construction of a cannery, and has loaned Mauritius US$60 million to construct a large diesel-electric power station in western Mauritius, completed in 1992. Other French-sponsored infrastructure projects have included the French firm Alcatel’s supply and installation of 30,000 additional telephone lines, a contract awarded in December 1988, and a five-year project scheduled to

begin construction in January 1995 by SCAC Delmas Vieljeux (SCV) to create a ninety-hectare free-port area and attendant facilities at Port Louis. The intent is that the free port should serve as a means for attracting African trade under the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern Africa. An area of tension between France and Mauritius relates to the latter’s claim to Tromelin Island, some 550 kilometres northwest of Mauritius, which France retained when Mauritius received its independence.

Tromelin had been governed by France from Mauritius during the colonial period and Mauritius for a number of years has raised the question of the return of the one square kilometre island where France has a meteorological observation station. When French president Francois Mitterrand visited Mauritius (along with Madagascar, Comoros, and Seychelles) in 1990, Mauritius raised its claim; despite several subsequent discussions, the matter has not been resolved.

Mauritius acknowledges the legitimacy of France’s military interests even though it supported the UN Indian Ocean Zone of Peace (IOZP) Resolution (adopted in 1971) calling for the demilitarization of the region. French military interests include the neighboring island of Reunion, a French department and headquarters for a military detachment. France has also provided the Special Mobile Force of Mauritius with MR2. 8 million worth of military equipment and training.

INDIA:Which has deep social and historical links with a large portion of the population of Mauritius, is the country’s second largest source of foreign assistance. India has devoted a large share of aid to cultural ventures, such as the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, a library and language school opened in 1976. Apart from traditional cultural and trade relations of Mauritius with India, the two countries have exchanged visits by their leading officials in recent years; have engaged in numerous joint ventures, particularly in the textiles area; and have signed cooperation agreements in various spheres.

For example, in 1990 cooperation agreements were concluded in th