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Although known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century and subsequently settled by the Dutch - who named it in honor of Prince Maurits van NASSAU - in the 17th century. The French assumed control in 1715, developing the island into an important naval base overseeing Indian Ocean trade, and establishing a plantation economy of sugar cane. The British captured the island in 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars. Mauritius remained a strategically important British naval base, and later an air station, playing an important role during World War II for anti-submarine and convoy operations, as well as the collection of signal intelligence. Independence from the UK was attained in 1968. A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has earned one of Africa's highest per capita incomes.


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Economy

Economy - overview
Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. For most of the period, annual growth has been in the order of 5% to 6%. This remarkable achievement has been reflected in more equitable income distribution, increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much-improved infrastructure. The economy rests on sugar, tourism, textiles and apparel, and financial services, and is expanding into fish processing, information and communications technology, and hospitality and property development. Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 15% of export earnings. The government's development strategy centers on creating vertical and horizontal clusters of development in these sectors. Mauritius has attracted more than 32,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India, South Africa, and China. Investment in the banking sector alone has reached over $1 billion. Mauritius, with its strong textile sector, has been well poised to take advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Mauritius' sound economic policies and prudent banking practices helped to mitigate negative effects from the global financial crisis in 2008-09. GDP grew more than 4% per year in 2010-11, and the country continues to expand its trade and investment outreach around the globe.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 129
$19.52 billion (2011 est.)
$18.75 billion (2010 est.)
$18.01 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$11.31 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 94
4.1% (2011 est.)
4.1% (2010 est.)
3% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 82
$15,100 (2011 est.)
$14,600 (2010 est.)
$14,100 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 4.5%
Industry 24%
Services 71.4% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 156
607,400 (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture and fishing 9%
Construction and industry 30%
Transportation and communication 7%
Trade, restaurants, hotels 22%
Finance 6%
Other services 25% (2007)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 91
7.8% (2011 est.)
7.8% (2010 est.)

Population below poverty line
8% (2006 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% NA%
Highest 10% NA%

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 70
39 (2006 est.)
37 (1987 est.)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 49
24.5% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget
Revenues $2.364 billion
Expenditures $2.842 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 155
20.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 137
-4.2% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 46
57.3% of GDP (2011 est.)
57.7% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 151
6.5% (2011 est.)
2.9% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate
9% (31 December 2010 est.)
NA% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 21
8.92% (31 December 2011 est.)
19.25% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 116
$3.188 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$2.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 102
$11.39 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$10.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 92
$12.06 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$10.92 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 79
$6.54 billion (31 December 2011)
$6.506 billion (31 December 2010)
$4.74 billion (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products
Sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses; cattle, goats; fish

Industries
Food processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing, mining, chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, nonelectrical machinery, tourism

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 92
3.3% (2010 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 129
2.402 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 133
2.234 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 199
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 123
23,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 178
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 110
20,750 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 163
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 100
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 205
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 144
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 95
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 206
0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 128
-$1.339 billion (2011 est.)
-$799.4 million (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 129
$2.645 billion (2011 est.)
$2.262 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Clothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers, molasses, fish

Exports - partners
UK 19.7%, France 17.1%, US 11.5%, Italy 8.8%, South Africa 7.3%, Spain 6.8%, Madagascar 6.5% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 126
$5.159 billion (2011 est.)
$4.157 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Manufactured goods, capital equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals

Imports - partners
India 25.6%, China 11.5%, France 9.4%, South Africa 7.3%, Singapore 5.9% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 107
$2.743 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$2.601 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 114
$5.205 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$4.402 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$NA

Exchange rates
Mauritian rupees (MUR) per US dollar -
28.706 (2011 est.)
30.784 (2010 est.)
31.96 (2009)
27.973 (2008)
31.798 (2007)

Fiscal year
1 July - 30 June


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  Mauritius (Port Louis):


  GPS points from Mauritius (Port Louis)

Cazela Black River District

Gallets River Savanne District

Cent Gaulettes Grand Port District

Chagos Archipelago Mauritius (general)

Pointe Masulipatam Grand Port District

Riviere Chevrettes Mauritius (general)

Coromandel Station Mauritius (general)

Belle Ile River Black River District




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