The Government wished to develop Mauritius into a Cyber Island and an ICT hub for the region and the ICT sector is now considered to be an engine of growth and the fifth pillar of the Mauritian economy.
More than 200 companies are operating in the ICT sector. They are involved in a wide range of activities, including software development, call centres, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), web-enabled services, training, networking and other support services. Over 30 software and services companies, mostly foreign-owned, are presently working for the export market, namely Europe and the US.
Mauritius offers a business-friendly environment and a unique blend of advantages, namely its cost-effective service, the quality of its workforce and state-of-the-art infrastructure that make it an attractive location for ICT activities. World leaders like IBM, Microsoft and HP have set up their regional office on the island. Oracle, SAP and JD Edwards are also present. The island has successfully attracted key international players such as Infosys, Satyam, Accenture and Cendris (TPG Group) to set up development centres, conduct BP0 activities and operate Disaster Recovery Centres.
An attractive ICT Incentive Regime exists for this sector. The package of incentives offered under the ICT Scheme includes:
- For call centres or back office operations, company can opt for a uniform corporate tax of 5%.
- Duty-free import of equipment.
- Accelerated depreciation allowances for ICT equipment in the form of investment allowance of 50% plus annual allowance of the total investment over 3 years.
- 50% relief on personal income tax for a specified number of foreign IT specialists per company
- Duty-free import of personal belongings of expatriates excluding vehicles.
- Fast track processing of visa, work and residence permits for expatriates.
- Electricity tariffs at industrial rates instead of commercial rates.
- Duty free import of two cars (maximum duty remission of MUR 500,000 per car) provided that the initial investment exceeds MUR 50 million or the project creates at least 200 jobs for Mauritian workers.