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Legal Developments in Mauritius

Unlike most of the other established financial centres, Mauritius has, as an African state, always nurtured tax and trade relationships with mainland states by constantly cumulating African tax treaties and by cumulating membership in a number of African preferential trade networks (e.g COMESA and SADC. Considered as a leading international financial services centre and a gateway for investment in many Asian and African countries, Mauritius has in the past year sought to further consolidate its position as a hub for financial transactions by introducing innovative vehicles, structuring and financing products..

Following the enactment of the Limited Partnership Act in December 2011, the jurisdiction also enacted the Foundations Act 2012 allowing for the setting-up of Private Foundations (PF) and the Private Pension Schemes Act 2012, which provides a comprehensive and simple regulatory framework for the operation of private pension schemes. In parallel, it has signed two new Double Taxation Avoidance (DTA) Treaties, namely with Kenya and Nigeria and ratified the one with Zambia. It has also made a number of amendments to its Civil Code to widen the scope of application of leasing as a mode of financing. In its budget speech for the forthcoming year, Government has announced its intention to consolidate relationships with the continent through not only bilateral agreements, but also with several other measures such as the relaxation of immigration requirements, development of free-port facilities for exports to Africa as well as other non-fiscal measures in a bid to bring about greater substance through value-added services.