Volume 4, Issue 2

20th February, 2012

Business Alert
Prime Minister of Mauritius visits India

H.E. Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius was in India along with a business delegation consisting of Ministers, Govt. officers and business leaders. SKP group was privileged to be represented at two important business meetings organised by FICCI, CII & Assocham which are the leading industry and trade bodies of India.

This news alert brings out the highlights of the two meetings. We hope you find the same to be of interest.

The first business meeting at New Delhi was held on 8th February at Hotel Oberoi. The meeting was also graced by Mr. Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles, Govt. of India. The second business meeting at Mumbai was held on 9th February at Taj Palace Hotel. The other persons present at the meetings were Hon. Cader Sayed Hossen, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection of Mauritius, Mr. Maurice Lam, Chairman, Board of Investments, Mauritius & Mr. Ken Poonoosamy, Managing Director, Board of Investments, Mauritius, Mr. Cedric Doger de Speville, President, Mauritius Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr. Louis Rivalland, President, Joint Economic Council & Group CEO, Swan Insurance, Mr. Jignesh Shah, Chairman, CII National Committee on Commodities Markets & Chairman and Group CEO, Financial Technologies Ltd., Mr. Joseph Massey, MD & CEO, MCS Stock Exchange, Mr. V.B. Soni, Senior Member, Assocham, Mr. R.S. Butola, Chairman, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Mr Rashesh Shah, Chairman, FICCI – Maharashtra State Council & Chairman, Edelweiss Group.
At both meetings, H.E. Dr. Ramgoolam reiterated the Mauritian Government’s strong resolve to set at rest any doubt that anyone would have about the fact that the Govt. was more than willing to help in curbing misuse of the tax treaty between India and Mauritius. Time and again, it was mentioned that Mauritius was determined to assist the Indian Govt. in preventing Round Tripping and also routing dirty money into the Indian stock markets via Mauritius. The Prime Minister’s delegation laid strong emphasis on the three reasons why investors should come to Mauritius – Credibility, Security and Simplicity. It was pointed out that Mauritius enjoyed political stability and the fact each of its four Prime Ministers have faced electoral defeat sometime or the other highlighted the robustness of the democratic process in that country. He also referred to his meetings with the Indian Prime Minister H.E. Dr Manmohan Singh and the Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee.

The delegation brought out lot of relevant statistics which showed that apart from the inbound inflow of money from Mauritius into India, the outbound flow was also substantial. It was mentioned that more than 100 Indian companies have set up their presence in Mauritius and that investment from India into Mauritius has increased from about Rs. 1.5 billion in past few years to Rs. 6 billion in last one year. Some of the sectors that are booming in Mauritius and where Indians ought to take interest (in terms of investments) are ICT, BPO and Pharma. The attractive tax rate of 15% was another reason why Mauritius offers an attractive investment destination. The delegation also emphasised on the importance of Mauritius as a route to do business in Africa. The various tax treaties and IPPAs entered into by Mauritius with African countries would ensure that the investment made in Africa via Mauritius enjoyed substantial advantages over direct investments.

The meetings also saw some solid testimonials given by industrialists who have actually benefitted from investing in Mauritius and doing business there. Mr. Ashish Wele, President, Nirmal Seeds, Mr. Vikram Oberoi, Joint MD, Oberoi Group, Dr. Archana Hingorani, CEO & Executive Director, IL&FS, Mr Haragopal Mangipudi, Global Head, Finacle, Infosys Technologies Ltd. spoke about their experience of dealing with the various Mauritian authorities and how they enjoyed doing business in Mauritius. Mr. Oberoi also touched upon the non business side of Mauritius when he spoke of his long stay in Mauritius and the memorable life that he and his family experienced there.

The visit of H.E. Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam and his colleagues to India was a very fruitful one and their meetings with the Indian counterparts would surely pave the way for greater ties between India and Mauritius. The prevailing controversy over the tax treaty between the two countries would, hopefully, get sorted out in light of the Mauritian Government’s categorical statement that they have and would continue to co-operate fully with the Indian Government to unearth misuse of the treaty. Dr. Ramgoolam said that “the treaty was meant to cement the trust between the two countries. The government of Mauritius will not do anything that would harm the interests of India”. He also referred to the fact that “the DTAA has helped attract over $60 billion worth of FDI in India. It has brought business, created jobs and benefited millions of people in the country.”

SKP group, as one of the sponsors at the business meeting at Delhi and as an invitee to the meeting at Mumbai, was privileged to be part of both business meetings and we look forward to stronger ties with our associates in Mauritius.

For further queries e-mail - info@skpgroup.com