Mauritius: Mauritius Ranks 13th Globally in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report 2020

Mauritius is ranked 13th out of 190 countries assessed according to the latest edition of the Ease of Doing Business Report which was released, today, by the World Bank. This represents the best ranking ever for Mauritius since the publication of the report in 2007.

Thus, Mauritius also consolidates its lead position on the African continent as the best place for doing business. Last year, Mauritius was ranked 20th globally, progressing from the 25th position in 2017, and 49th in 2016. The country also ranks 2nd among Middle-Income economies, behind Malaysia which also scored 81.5 points, like Mauritius.

In fact, Mauritius’s ease of doing business score increased to 81.5, narrowing the gap with the benchmark which is New Zealand (86.8). The report also confirms the position of Mauritius in Sub-Saharan Africa region followed by Rwanda (38) and Kenya (56). Mauritius has moved up by 36 places in the Ease of Doing Business survey within a span of only three years.

The World Bank team states that, ‘Research demonstrates a causal relationship between economic freedom and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, where freedom regarding wages and prices, property rights, and licensing requirements leads to economic development’. The Government in Mauritius has laid strong emphasis on providing a conducive business environment to the investor community.

According to the World Bank, reforms which bear testimony in modernising the Mauritian economy included the automation of public services, reviewing of licensing procedures and regulatory amendments through the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2017 and the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2019 in line with international best practices.

In addition, some of the key areas of reforms undertaken by Mauritius and recognised by the World Bank’s doing business team are as follows: Dealing with Construction Permits where Mauritius ranks 8th out of 190 countries; Paying Taxes where the country is ranked 5th with a score of 94% in the ease of paying taxes indicator, owing to the sustained reforms implemented by the Mauritius Revenue Authority; Registering a business/Incorporate a company online in less than two hours; Getting Electricity – Reduced costs and time for a new electricity connection; Registering property – Enhancement of the Mauritius e-Registry System (MERS) and streamlining of procedures; and, Improving the legal framework for Resolving Insolvency.

Mauritius moved from the 99th position in 2017 to the 23rd position in the Registering Property indicator, following streamlining of the property registration process and improvements in the Mauritius e-Registry System (MERS). Likewise, Mauritius has improved in other indicators including Starting a Business, Resolving Insolvency and Enforcing Contract.

Whilst this year’s ranking represents a new milestone achieved by the country, the Economic Development Board, with the support of Government, has already laid the pathway to further improve the doing business climate of Mauritius. Major projects such as the National Electronic Licensing System (NELS), the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) Framework, Secured Transactions Reforms, Judicial reforms on commercial matters, reforms on procurement and a major Regulatory Review are strides towards a more conducive business environment.

The Doing Business 2020 is a World Bank Group flagship publication. It is the 17th in a series of annual studies measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it.

Doing Business covers 12 areas of business regulation. Ten of these areas — starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency — are included in the ease of doing business score and ease of doing business ranking.

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