Manufacturing Industry

With more than 50 years of industrialisation, the manufacturing industry remains an engine of growth with a GDP contribution of 12.1% (2020). This industry has played an instrumental role in the economic diversification and transformation of Mauritius from a monocrop to a broad-based and forward-looking economy. Today, Mauritius has consolidated its reputation as a high quality and reliable supplier through a successful combination of trade, investment, and industrialization strategies. 

By virtue of our preferential market access (COMESA, SADC, IOC, EPA, AGOA, AfCFTA) to Europe, the USA and Africa, Mauritius exports 1,500 product lines to over 100 countries. Our country has developed a competitive edge in textile and apparel, seafood processing, sugar and agro-processing and has harnessed new segments such as medical devices, pharmaceutical products, high-end jewellery, Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM), precision engineering, metal fabrication products and optical products. 

Despite a lack of natural resources, Mauritius has over the years focused on the production of high value added products for niche markets. The success of our manufacturing industry lies in its capacity to innovate and adapt to the changing needs of customers in a short lead time. With the advent of COVID-19 and its impact on global economy, Mauritius is gradually re-positioning itself as a Strategic Hub in the Region by promoting sustainability and digital technology. As per the last Productive Capacities Index (PCI) launched by UNCTAD, Mauritius is currently ranked as Number 1st in Africa.

The manufacturing industry consists of the following sub-sectors:

Manufacturing Infographics

 

85 %

Total exports

103400

Employment

810

Large establishments

12.1 %

Contribution to GDP

  • Investment Opportunities

    Textile & Apparel

    • Investment in high-end spinning and weaving
    • Production of sustainable apparel
    • Development of home & technical textiles
    • Productivity improvement AI and Robotic

    Seafood Processing:

    • Processing plant 
    • Cold storage facilities
    • Processing of fish wastes/feed
    • Water pearl processing 

    Agro-Processing

    • Vanilla
    • Coffee
    • Tea
    • Cereales (Casava)
    • Essential Oils

    Rum & Spirits

    • Investing in Distillers for Alcoholic & non-Alcoholic Spirits
    • Investing in the manufacture of Alcoholic & Non-alcoholic Bitters, Syrups etc
    • Investing in Ready-to-Drink (RTD) cocktails distillers

    Jewellery

    • Vaulting
    • Diamond refining

    Pharmaceuticals and Medical devices

    • Drugs and formulations
    • Dental implants and prostheses
    • Optical goods

                  
    OEMs and Automotive Components

    • Moulds
    • Automotive filters
    • Machine parts

    Technical Textiles

    • Garments and non-garments (Medtech, Geotech etc.)

    Metal Fabrication

    • Steel bars
    • Die casts

    Printing and Packaging

    • Paper products
    • Flexible packaging
    • Carton boxes

    Plastic products

    Paints and Chemicals

    Recycling
     

  • The textile industry is considered as the catalyst of the Mauritian industrial revolution.  For the past 4 decades, the textile industry has played a key role by spurring economic growth and  attracting FDI from various countries, thus creating new employment opportunities and consolidating the manufacturing base of the economy.

    Evolving from a producer of basics in the 70’s to a vertically integrated supplier of high value added, design-led garments, the local textile industry is today geared to face challenges of a liberalized market place by providing flexible solutions adapted to the exact needs and requirements of buyers from all over the world. The local textile landscape is made up of a diversified base of manufacturers able to cater  for the needs  of a wide  spectrum of buyers with  a variety of options such as  price points, volumes and runs. Some of our leading entrepreneurial manufacturers have accumulated enough expertise to invest in additional production units  in  neighbouring countries, transferring knowledge to countries enjoying relatively low  labour costs,  while  providing the  right  degree of flexibility  for our clients.

    The efficiency, expertise and agility of the sector have contributed in positioning  Mauritius as a textile  hub  of excellence  in Southern & Eastern Africa, making our success story a business model  that  is currently being benchmarked  across Africa. The Mauritian manufacturers have the capability to supply a wide range of textile products at varying price points, with a focus on quality that includes T-shirts, lingerie and loungewear, shirts, sportswear, trousers and denim, children’s wear, pullovers, uniforms and beachwear to name a few.

    • Agro-Processing

      Since the industrialization of Mauritius, the Agricultural Sector has evolved from a mono-sugar industry into a multi-agro products much oriented towards exportation. Today, the agro sector has emerged into the following sub-sectors:

      Sugar 

      This sector has evolved from a mono-crop sector producing white sugar to a diversified cane industry producing special unrefined sugars, alcohol, molasses and ethanol. With the dismantling of a guaranteed price and abolishing quota with EU on sugar export, this sector is positioning itself by offering 17 types of special sugars, molasses and alcohol for exports. This sector has also re-engineered itself to produce electricity from bagasse, ensuring sustainability in energy production. Today the export of special sugar has increased to 145,000 tons targeting niche markets in some 50 countries.  Presently, the country is producing around 350,000 tons of sugar which is also being exported under the fair-trade label. Special sugars being produced include Demerara, Golden Granulated, Golden Caster, Molasses Sugar, Light and Dark Muscovado, Coffee Crystals, amongst others.  Special sugars are used in a variety of food products including cereals, dairy products, dry baking mixes, beverages, preserves and jellies, ethnic cuisine, snacks, cookies and baby foods. The main exports markets include European Union countries, the United States, Canada, in the Middle East – mainly United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, Far East – mainly China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, Australasia and Eastern Europe and Scandinavian Countries.

      Seafood 

      Mauritius has a total maritime zone of 2.3 million square kilometers with an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.96 million square kilometers and a continental shelf of 396,000 square kilometers co-managed with the Republic of Seychelles. The Mauritius seafood hub has facilities for trading, transshipment, storage and warehousing, processing, distribution and re-export of fresh, chilled and frozen raw or value-added seafood products. Fish products includes canned tuna, pre-cooked vacuum-packed tuna loins, frozen tuna loins/steaks, frozen fish fillets, fresh chilled whole fish/fish fillets, smoked fish, salted fish, fish oil and fish meal. The seafood processing sector has generated 6,000 direct employment and 10,000 indirect employment created from its ancillary services.

      Alcoholic Beverages

      Historically, in 1638 when sugar cane was introduced in Mauritius from Java, the island settlers were producing “arrack” a precursor to rum. With the diversification of the sugar industry, sugar producers have opted for distilling sugar cane to produce alcohol as well as industrial rum from molasses. Distillation of cane juice is also being done to produce agricultural, flavoured and island recipe rums.  Other spirits being manufactured includes island wine, beer, vodka and liqueurs.

      Processed Foods 

      The Mauritius food processing industrial set up adds value to a variety of agri products. The major products include animal feed and fish pellets, edible oil, wheat flour, margarine, instant noodles, pasta, black and green tea, herbal tea, moringa tea, vanilla based products, canned vegetables, biscuits and waffles, sugar confectionary and cake decorations, amongst others. The food industry also comprises SMEs who are involved in the manufacturing of a range of products such as spices, pickles and chutneys, fruits paste, jams and marmalade, flavoured honey, salted banana chips and frozen pre-cooked snacks that gives an authenticity to the unique Mauritian tastes and cuisines.

    • RUM AND SPIRITS

      Rum is the spirit of Mauritius. It is the connection of people and their heritage. When Sugar cane was introduced in Mauritius in the late 1500’s, it revolutionized local society, the reverberations of which are still felt today.  The labour intensive crop generated a demand for sugar on the European market which left a by-product in molasses - the raw material in rum production. From a dubious start and a vibrant history, rum in its diverse varieties and blends has earned a favoured place on the palates of those who frequent the roadside rum shop in Mauritius to the fashionable cocktail bars of Mauritius, London, Hong Kong, Germany and Paris. With a rich history of more than 40 years of industrialization, Mauritius has positioned itself as a sourcing destination of choice for quality and premium Rum and Spirits; winning various accolades from international tasting competition in trade shows and rum festivals.

      Mauritius is one of the few countries that produces both:

      Traditional Rum:

      • Rum from distillation of molasses, a residue of the sugar production.

      Agricultural Rum:

      • Rum from the distillation of fresh, fermented cane juice.

      The Mauritian spirit is emerging as a fast-developing subsector within the sugar cane industry.

      • 14 Rum Operators
      • 32+ Brands
      • 6 Big Distillers
      • MUR 945 M In Total Exports (incl. undenatured alcohol, beer, wine and other spirits)
         
    • Key Opportunities in the Rum and spirit sector

      1. Investing in Distilleries
      2. Investing in Craft Breweries
      3. Investing in Bottling plant

      Export Destinations : 

      Netherland, France, Kenya, South Africa, Madagascar & Seychelles etc.

      Tap into Mauritius’ MUR 1 Billion Spirits Industry : 

      1. Opportunities in value added products,
      2. Ideally located to exploit SADC and COMESA trade blocs,
      3. Generous incentives on tax, import tariffs and cost of doing business,
      4. Unmatched market access. Large and growing market opportunity in Europe, China, Africa, Northern America,
      5. Investor friendly environment,
      6. Dynamic industry,
      7. Supportive government,
      8. FDA approved,
      9. Freight advantage in terms of cost and time-to-market.


       

  • Mauritius offers a number of benefits to international manufacturing companies to set up production units locally.

    These benefits include:

    1. Preferential market access through COMESA, SADC, EPA, AGOA, GSP, IOC, Turkey FTA & Pakistan FTA No import duties on equipment and raw materials
    2. No export duties
    3. VAT on raw materials is payable at customs clearance but reimbursable on exports
    4. Streamlined procedures for the recruitment of expatriates and foreign labour with an 8-year work permit policy for expatriates in the manufacturing sector
    5. Sea freight rebate scheme: Refund of 25% of the Basic Freight Cost to a maximum of USD 300 per 20-feet container and USD 600 per 40 –feet container exported to 45 eligible ports in Africa including Madagascar and Reunion.
    6. Investment Tax Credit for investment in high-tech manufacturing equipment
    7. Support for Trade Promotion & Marketing Scheme allowing 60% refund on air freight costs incurred on exports of textiles and apparels, fruits, flowers, vegetables and chilled fish.
    8. Accelerated depreciation on machinery, equipment and construction of industrial premises dedicated to manufacturing activities
    9. Acquisition of property for business purposes, by a non-citizen investor, is authorised
    10. Duty-Free and VAT free on goods and equipment imported into Freeport zones
    11. Exemption from corporate tax
    12. No Registration Duty and Land Transfer Tax on any transfer of a building or land earmarked for the construction of a building, to be utilised for setup of qualifying high-tech manufacturing activities
    13. 3 per cent corporate tax on profits derived from exports of goods
    14. 8-year income tax-holiday for companies engaged in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products, medical devices and high-tech products
    15. Tax Incentives for Research and Development (R&D)
    16. Accelerated depreciation of 50 percent per annum on capital expenditure incurred on R&D
    17. Companies can claim a double deduction in respect of qualifying expenditure on R&D until income year 2021-2022
       
    • Rum and Spirits

      The Mauritian alcoholic beverages market is valued over MUR 1 Bn and is expected to triple by 2025. Beer is the most consumed alcoholic drink in Mauritius and contains around 4-7% of alcohol followed by rum, wine and other spirits. Craft beer has gained popularity among a large section of consumers in the country. The growing popularity of craft beer among the consumers, especially the younger generation, is considered as the major factor of growth. Local companies are launching innovative products because of the changing consumer preferences. New product launches and innovations in alcoholic drinks are favouring the growth of the industry.

      Mauritius is known for its sugarcane cultivation and is famous for the production of special sugars. When sugarcane was introduced in Mauritius in the 1600’s, it revolutionized local society, the reverberations of which are still felt today. The labour-intensive crop generated a demand for sugar on the European market which left a by-product in molasses - the raw material in Traditional rum production. In the early 2000’s, the island’s few rum producers began experimenting with Agricultural Rum and concurrently began exporting to global markets. With the sharp decline in the value of sugar, rum became a far more valuable export product.

      Mauritius stands as one of the few countries that produces both Agricultural Rums (a rum distilled from the juice of fresh-cut sugar cane) & Traditional Rums (molasses-based rums). With such a rich seam of history and heritage to draw on, Mauritian spirits are well placed to capitalize on this trend, offering a broad range of styles and flavours. Mauritius makes some truly exceptional rums, but where it stands out from its competitors, is in its infusions. In line with the vision of graduating the offering of the classic Mauritian Rum to a new level of sophistication, a large variety of infused rums has been introduced, which uses the island’s local fruits and spices, such as Queen Victoria pineapples, vanilla beans, coffee, ginger, chillies, coconut and passion fruits. As opposed to tasting like a sweet syrup, the outcome is a flavoursome, palatable spirit with hints of coffee, roasted vanilla, spicy chilli and tart passion fruit.

      Rum forms part of Mauritius’ cultural heritage. Today, we have a range of over 35 rums and rum related products which have performed exceptionally in international tasting competitions such as London Spirits Competition, China Wine & Spirit Awards, The Spirits Business, World Rum Awards, World Spirits Awards, German Rum Award, Ultimate Spirits Challenge and International Wine & Spirit Competition amongst others and our rums are distributed in over 10 countries in Europe and internationally.

    • Key Opportunities

      • Investing in Bottling Plant
      • Investing in Distillers for Alcoholic & Zero-Alcoholic Spirits
      • Investing in the manufacture of Alcoholic & Zero - Alcoholic Spirits, Bitters, Syrups, Tarts etc.
      • Investing in Read-to-Drink (RTD) cocktails distillers
    • Tap into Mauritius’ MUR 1 Billion Alcoholic Beverages Industry

      • Dynamic industry
      • FDA approved for exports to USA
      • Ideally located to main markets
      • Generous incentives on tax, import tariffs and cost of doing business
      • Supportive government & investor friendly environment
      • World Bank Doing Business 2020 –1st in Africa
      • Global Competitiveness Index 2019, WEF –1st in Africa  Safe investment location with established rules of law
      • Convenient time zone (GMT+4)
      • No minimum foreign capital required
      • Sea Freight Rebate Scheme to 45 eligible African regional ports including South Africa and Madagascar
      • Air Freight -Trade Promotion and Marketing Scheme (TPMS) to EU, Japan, Australia, Canada and the Middle East
      • Preferential Market Access to EU, USA, Africa, India, China, Pakistan, Turkey, IOC
  • Engineering

    With an employment of 12,500 that represents 12% of total jobs generated in the manufacturing industry, this engineering cluster exported to the tune of MUR 5.7 Bn in 2020, registering a significant hike of 41% as from 2017.

    This cluster remains the engine of the industrial sector as it generates both primary and secondary supplies for the local and regional markets. The engineering sector manufactures a substantial diversity of products ranging from basic engineering materials to high-tech. This wide portfolio of engineering manufactures includes furniture, plastic, printing & packaging, through to basic metal and chemicals up to high precision metal engineering, electronics, optical, watch parts, OEMs, pharmaceutical and medical devices.

    Today, the country proudly houses a growing number of high-tech manufacturing enterprises using state-of-the-art technologies. This promising sector is expected to further experience positive export leaps in the coming years with the rise of African industrialization, the transition of enterprises to additive technologies and growing sophistication of both local and regional demand for high precision and high-tech industrial inputs and final goods.

    Mauritius is a natural production platform to target multiple export markets. From this politically and financially sound production base, investors can develop and expand to multiple markets by availing preferential trading terms with a number of export destinations, namely Africa, Europe, the USA, China, India, the Indian Ocean countries, Pakistan as well as Turkey. In a bid to support enterprises’ export expansion and market diversification strategies, several support schemes and/or incentives have been devised inter-alia: sea & air freight, no export duties and 3% corporate tax on profits derived from exports of goods. Targeted trade support programmes have also been laid out by the EDB to assist enterprises to consolidate existing market base and penetrate new ones.

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