Mauritius expects foreign direct investment to come to 14 billion rupees ($391 million) in 2016, up more than 44 percent from 9.7 billion last year, its finance minister said on Tuesday.
The Indian Ocean island nation is trying to expand into offshore banking, business outsourcing, luxury real estate and medical tourism, in a bid to diversify its economy away from sugar, textiles and tourism.
In the nine months to September, foreign investment inflows came to 10.59 billion rupees, up 46.8 percent year-on-year, driven by real estate, financial services and insurance activities, according to Bank of Mauritius data.
“They are estimated to be around 14 billion for the year 2016,” Finance Minister Pravind Jugnauth told parliament.
The bank said investment in real estate totalled 7.56 billion rupees, while financial and insurance activities received 2.04 billion rupees in the first nine months.
France was the main investor over that period with investments totalling 3.52 billion rupees, followed by China which accounted for 1.90 billion rupees.
The Bank of Mauritius expects the island’s economy to grow about 3.8 to 4.0 percent in 2017.
Jugnauth said the central bank forecasts a higher balance of payments surplus of around 22 billion rupees for 2016 against 20 billion last year.
($1 = 35.8000 Mauritius rupees)