Mauritius - Economic development



France has backed training for labor, a stock exchange (which opened under the Stock Exchange Act of 1988), and irrigation projects. The EU is supporting efforts at diversifying agriculture. The Mauritius plan to become an international financial center advanced as liberalized currency rules were put into effect in 1986. In 1995, Mauritius became the 12th member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Mauritius intended to invest up to $1.5 billion in infrastructure development projects from 1997 to 2007.

The government is putting effort into information and communications technologies, in an effort to diversify the economy away from its reliance upon sugar, textiles and apparel, and tourism. The government developed a five-year Sugar Sector Strategic Plan for 2001–05, to restructure the sugar industry, including reducing the labor force and the number of sugar mills in operation. The country's export processing zone firms have sizeable investments in Madagascar's export processing zone, and have been affected by political upheavals there. Nonetheless, growth in Mauritius was strong in the early 2000s, and social conditions were improving. A rising unemployment rate is a concern, however. Tax reform was being considered in 2002–03, and planned capital projects were being reviewed. The government passed anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism legislation.

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