Mauritius’ strength is in its people: Roger de Robillard


De Robillard Mauritius’ honorary representative in Sydney, Australia said unlike other countries that heavily on natural resources, Mauritius relied on its people.

“Mauritius is one of the few countries in the World where 70 per cent of the country’s GDP comes from services so our greatest natural resources are our people,” De Robillard told CNBC Africa.

(READ MORE: Mauritius business confidence hits record low as domestic demand slows)


De Robillard said Mauritius has also been attractive to a number of leading mining companies.

“We already have 220 listed mining companies working in Africa with something like 54 billion US dollars’ worth of investment only in the mining space,” he added.

De Robillard added that the country was also extending its influence into other services beyond mining.

“We are trying to expand our focus from mining into other services that Mauritius can offer the Australian companies in order to optimise returns to their shareholders.”

De Robillard also said his country was currently fighting a bit of a rear-guard action with some of its competitors.

(READ MORE: Mauritius’ good governance record attracts investors)

“The financial services sector is crowded by aggressive people and at the moment people want to make Mauritius look like a tax havens,” he said.

Mauritius is renowned for its accounting and judicial systems among others which has been attractive to investors into the island nation.

Mauritius came first in sub-Saharan Africa yet again in 2014 on the Global Competitiveness report.

However, the country has been struggling to attract Australians as they have been cautious about investing in Mauritius partly because of its ‘tax haven’ stigma and lack of adequate knowledge.