FOREIGN V/S LOCAL EMPLOYEES – AVOIDING THE XENOPHOBIC TRAP

I’m wearing four hats to write this article: Mauritian citizen, entrepreneur, immigration specialist and director of an HR management agency. Of course, I’m looking at the subject from these four angles which accumulate over more than two decades of professional and personal engagement. Our articles are usually written under the banner of the Gibson & Hills Group, but this one is under my personal pen. I’m certain this will trigger different reactions, but as long as it does not leave you indifferent, I’m happy.

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S’installer à l’île Maurice, à quelle vie s’attendre ?

Alors, vous avez ces belles photos dans les magazines et avez beaucoup entendu sur la petite ile paradisiaque nichée au milieu de l’Océan Indien. Vous le savez déjà, l’île Maurice est une des destinations touristiques les plus prisées au monde mais vous êtes curieux d’apprendre plus sur son rôle en tant qu’une des économies les plus performantes de l’Afrique mais aussi une juridiction d’affaires avec les portes grandes ouvertes pour accueillir les détenteurs de capitaux et de compétences. Mais en fin de compte, le plus important est de comprendre la vie sur l’ile car si vous choisissez d’y élire domicile, il y va de votre vie et des celles qui vous sont chers.

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Relocation to Mauritius : how’s life on the sunny side?

So you heard about Mauritius, the tiny little heaven-like island in the Indian Ocean. You knew already that it is one of the best tourist destinations of the world but curious to learn that it has one of the best performing economies of Africa and it has an interesting immigration policy for those who want to invest, do business, work or even retire there. But how’s life on the island? The answer to this question s essential (quintessential as would say one of our Ministers) as you choose a new life, for you and your family.

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PATRIOTISM AND LACK OF CLARITY

Covid is a word no one can avoid. Human life has never felt that much insecure, amplified of course through the enhanced information and communication facilities that link us all.

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Doing business in Mauritius – the domestic retail market

Probably the most critical element of a business is its market. You can have a world class product or service, or a super brilliant business concept, but if it does not suit the market, it won’t work. Foreigners are welcome to set or relocate their business on the island and it seems that the features of Mauritius as a peaceful, stable and beautiful island tend to surpass the reality of doing business here. Those relocating to Mauritius through a business idea need to ascertain that the idea stands its value, precisely that there is a market for the proposal. Many also tend to replicate a successful business model in their own country, which, not in all cases, is a good idea.

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Immigration to Mauritius : the new rules, active from 2 September 2020

Following enactment of the new laws governing Immigration, precisely Occupation and Residence permits, the following new conditions are now applicable to those who want to invest work or retire in Mauritius. We bring you the major changes and remain at your service for any question you might have. What is an Occupation permit (OP) ?

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Mauritius, at a turning point?

After two months of absence, I’m back. First apologies for this long break. There were so many things going on different fronts that held me up. Mauritius has also been quite in trouble waters, so to say, with the Wakashio wreck and all the oil spilling drama that happened. Mauritian population joined hands to build booms and other systems to keep the oil away and clean the shores. I must say this is probably the most collective patriotic action I have ever seen in my life. It is more than heart warming, it is a symbol of hope. As one people, as one nation… was our national anthem says.

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Mauritius, a Cyber-island (finally) with a new mindset ?

From 18 March 2020, Mauritius is under confinement. The much dreaded scenario finally reached our shores. My last blog was posted four days before the confinement was initiated by the government. From then, one can guess, so many things happened. I kept observing the situation, and in a view to bring my contribution, opened a Covid-19 in Mauritius Facebook where every Creole & French spoken content is translated in English for my English-speaking friends. On the island, French & Creole are most commonly spoken and also adopted by officers / Ministers when addressing a larger public

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Corona virus & Mauritius

Corona is probably the most used word these days, not for its usual meaning though. The world seems to be at crossroads, not really knowing which road leads to what destination. Apprehensions everywhere. Everyone is vigilant and the idea that we are walking on eggs has entered every mind. Mauritius is not exception, but we have been somewhat caught off-guard. I’m not going into the technical information on Covid19, I think there are people far more qualified are already doing an excellent job at this level.

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Mauritius, post-elections – continuity

The general elections are well behind. a government already chosen, constituted and operational. Besides the allegations of irregularities (not to say fraud), there’s nothing much left to say. Mauritians seems to have voted for continuity, carrying the previous regime to office again. The government is constituted with a nice blend of new faces and old-grey-haired experienced officers. What does a general election or a change of government really mean to Mauritius? Let’s have a brief outlook.

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The Workers’ Rights Act (2019)

The Workers’ Rights Act (2019) overwrites the Employments Rights Act since 24th of October 2019. This new law has a few salient features that all employers need to be aware of.

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The Self-Employed permit

The Economic Development Board (EDB) manages different residency permits schemes, designed to attract foreign capital and expertise to Mauritius. Business-oriented permits, under the Occupation Permit scheme are declined in three (3) categories: Investor, Professional and Self-employed. We will focus, on a series of short articles, on the main aspect of the Self-employed permit.

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Relocation to Mauritius, the (untold) human side of things.

Relocation is not an easy process, despite what is claimed by many professionals and published in the beautiful media showroom. There are two basic angles to look at a relocation project; the technical side and the social side. It is fair to say that the authorities of the island and many so-called professional fails to give the required attention to the social element in a relocation project. We cannot invite foreigners to invest, work, retire or purchase property in Mauritius while completely ignoring the human side.

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The Mauritian Experience, How not to fail it (Part 3 – Officers are not Gods)

Following comments and feedback received on various media (mostly social media) and also from personal experience, I thought about coming up with this article. The contents may not be to the liking of many, mostly some officers on high chairs in some cozy offices in Port Louis. Certain things have to be said, written or expressed, in the interest of a wider population; in this case in the interest of a whole country. I have been frustrated a couple of times because of this situation, almost looking like an incompetent without any clue of the rules in areas within which I’ve been practicing for the past 25 years.

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The Mauritian Experience, How not to fail it (Part 2 – This is not the third world)

The first episode in this series earned us a lot of reactions on different social media platforms. We’re glad it reached such a big audience and triggered many interesting contributions. As usual the idea was not to write fairy-tale type of articles for comfort reading. Some days ago, someone who curiously seemed inspired by our Part 1 article (The Road Kills), claimed everything was pink on the island and that the roads are safe. The article was written very clearly by an author probably living in fairy tale-candy-marsh-mallow type world. With a pseudo like ‘Mermaid’ I can only deduce that. Anyways.

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Tribulations of an Investor in Mauritius

This article was published in the News of Sunday edition of 12 October 2018. Some of the readers have requested an online version, so here it is. Enjoy the read and send your comments and questions.

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The Mauritian smile, lethal stuff !

Scrolling through my blog, I came across this piece, written in 2011. It still seems relevant !

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The Mauritian experience, how not to fail it (Part 1 – The Road kills)

The magazines, YouTube videos and internet contents have seduced you. Mauritius is where you want to be. After all, how can we resist to such a place; it has got it all: climatic and political stability, stunning natural beauty, welcoming people… to list a few. Yet, some do fail their Mauritian experience and leave the country with a sour after-taste. There are certain things that are not told or exposed publicly, which means you only get a feel of them once you are hit. I’ll try to give you some hints on what not to do on the island to ensure that you enjoy the paradise-like feeling. Expect a series of short articles following this one soon.

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Mauritius, a beautiful business playground

Mauritius has opened its door to foreign capital and expertise, officially since 2001. However, in the past, many incentives were made available to foreign investors for the purpose of creating businesses, employment and wealth. We recall similar strategies that have been behind the success of the textiles industry and the tourism; areas where Mauritians did not possess the required capital or expertise.

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Mauritius employment laws & regulations, the Remuneration Orders

The base law Employment laws in Mauritius are defined as the Employments Rights Act. The Act lays the basics of employment laws of the country and covers, in a global fashion, the basic rights of the employee and the employer. The Law is quite elaborate and provides information on applicable rules, obligations and right of both parties: the employer and the employee.

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Investment in a Tourist enterprise in Mauritius

What could be a better business than tourism in a world-class tourist destination? At first sight, investing in this sector is a banker choice. The rationale behind every country’s progress is the improvement in the lives of its population. Through this logic, a foreign investor has to understand that many of the tourism-based businesses are very selective when it comes to foreign participation. Some are completely inaccessible to non-Mauritians.

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Acquisition of business in Mauritius – how to avoid the traps.

I believe it is crucial to understand the ins and outs while thinking of taking over a business in a foreign land. Here’s a reblog of the original post for those who missed it.

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How to create a company in Mauritius

Mauritius is a very business-oriented jurisdiction, and as such, it offers simplified and streamlined procedures for those who want to open and manage their businesses on the island. Company formation is the first step in every business venture as the company is the legal existence of the business. This applies to any business and any entrepreneur, local or not.

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Invest in Mauritius, there’s lots more than real-estate.

While researching the keywords ‘invest in Mauritius’, one is flooded with real estate offers so much that it misleads people to understand that this is the only option for investment on the island. Investing in real estate is one thing but investment in general is another. Mauritius offers a much wider choice of investment opportunities for those who want to fructify their funds. The strategy to attract foreign capital and expertise revolves around quite a complete framework which includes active investment (business creation) and passive investment (real-estate, retired permit schemes). The global objective is to transform the island into a dynamic and performing economy. It’s quite painful to see real-estate being promoted under the word ‘invest’ – which clearly is not, I’ll explain my perspective below.

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Living in Mauritius, changes to residency permit schemes

In its quest of making Mauritius a destination of excellence, the government has brought changes to its already attractive residency permit schemes. The strategy of opening the doors of the island, in a selective way, has proven to be effective in bringing foreign direct investment and expertise to the country. We all know that the country is constantly moving forward, always on the lookout to improve and plans to be a high-income earning nation in the future. Attracting foreign capital and expertise is part and parcel of an overall strategy to boost the island’s economy and uplift quality of life of its citizens.

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Mauritius employment laws & regulations, 2016-2017

Hello readers We published an article on employment law back in 2012. The success, you made out of it, was unexpected. Over 58,000 views & over 550 questions/comments.

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How to open a restaurant in Mauritius

As a world-class tourist destination, Mauritius is inevitably an appropriate place to host a restaurant. Without doubt, this is one of the favourite businesses among foreign investors. French, Italian, Indian – you find it all on the island. The cuisine of a country is a reflexion of its culture, it is said.

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Business Facilitation Act (2017)

The strength of business-Mauritius lies in the coherent strategy it has sustained over the years. Even if the country has known different leaders and governing party, we have maintained the same philosophy: transform the island into an international business hub. I can honestly say that every government has done its part when it comes to business facilitation, driving the entrepreneur minds to higher levels each time. From 1994, when I joined KPMG as a junior, till now, I have witnessed the impressive progress of the country in this field. I myself could climb the ladder from a junior to a CEO – proof that entrepreneurs have a business-prone environment to thrive on.

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Business, investment opportunity in Mauritius

Foreigners who want to invest in Mauritius often apprehend the difficulties lying ahead. Business creation is not really a simple point to point process. It involves different steps; finding the right location, the right team, stock acquisition, equipment, logistics, the legal structure and of course the residency permits.

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Smart Cities in Mauritius, the trap?

I often think about the excessive importance given to the real estate industry of Mauritius. Ever since the introduction of schemes to attract foreign expertise and capital, many have thought that foreigners are queuing up to secure a piece of land in Paradise Island. No, not everyone is in a rush to go to paradise. Sad observation, but true in every sense.

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How to get an Investor Occupation Permit in Mauritius

Mauritius is an excellent destination; either for short or long term. One of the top performing economies of Africa, the island is viewed as a very interesting business jurisdiction as it offers a set of modern and simple features for business creation and management. Beyond the cliché of a ‘low tax’ jurisdiction, the island has lots to offer. For instance, investors can get residency permit under specific scheme called Occupation Permit.

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When you’re copied, means you’re good!

Hello readers, Just a brief note. Something which got me amused.

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The rise of public tempo (Creole translation: Nissa la monter)

The general elections are at our door-steps. The population is holding its breath…and its frustrations. The common man gets a sense of his importance now, like he does every 5 years. From the tip of his pencil on polling day, the fate of some will hang. The common man, voter for one day, will decide on whether the actual government will walk through a third mandate or whether a new team will be elected. A ‘new team’ so to say, but still composed of the same dinosaurs who have reigned on the political scene for decades. Change, wherever it occurs, always bring its dose of uncertainty. You can always blame or congratulate past performance, but in the unknown lie some strange feelings: fear, doubt, hope… The common Mauritian is called to vote – general elections are on 10 December 2014.

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Foreign jobs, what is really at stake

Our series of articles on employment in Mauritius were greeted very warmly by our followers and a lot of people in search of factual information. We were overwhelmed with comments and queries and hope to have responded to every one of you by now. Thank you your ongoing trust and support.

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Labour Law for foreigners planning to work and live in Mauritius

Mauritius, and without any doubt, is now positioned as a leading international business centre. This is the result of a combination of factors: the vision of our leaders, constant investment and effort over the years and implementing a well defined national strategy. From an agriculture based economy, the island has successfully transformed itself into a world class financial hub . One of the drivers of such a success story lies in the way foreign capital and expertise have been injected into our economy.

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Overtime work in Mauritius, an overview.

First of all, our sincere thanks to all our readers. Our last blog was a visible success. We got so many comments from many of you, request for advice on different scenarios and words of encouragement. It made us realize that people do not have easy access to information on Labour Law and that not much, either, is available on the internet. So here we are; with more information on rules and laws governing employment in Mauritius.

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Acquisition of business in Mauritius – how to avoid the traps.

While reading the news or browsing through online forums and other social media, one often comes across sad stories of foreigners getting trapped after buying what promised to be a lucrative business venture. Victims are often investors who want to invest and settle down in Mauritius. And often they end up with little choice than to pack up and return to their home country empty-handed. Once home they start from scratch all over again as all funds and assets have been spent up while pursuing their Mauritian dream.

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Mauritius, Work-in-Progress

The annual budget speech of Minister of Finance, Xavier-Luc Duval, reveals a very promising future for Mauritius. Government confirms its strategy to transform the country into a business center of excellence.

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Mauritius, paving the way for future

We are observing, with satisfaction, that certain governmental organizations are making a real effort to evolve. The recent Board of Investment (BOI) scandal has pushed decision makers to react – and they are doing so in very notable manner to transform what was once a stagnant and, to a certain extent, corrupt institution into a healthier one. It is undeniable that updating oneself every now and then is necessary, especially if one wants to keep pace in this fast changing world where information sharing has reached a hike. Mauritius is indeed riding on this tidal wave and we’re glad to see that some people of influence are not just sleeping on the laurels.

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Favouritism & Non-equal opportunities in Mauritius

In my French blog, sometimes ago, I wrote an article about favoritism in Mauritius. Some people didn’t like my opinion and I was cursed. Those people, some expatriates having spent few years on our soil, take themselves for experts mastering every aspect of life in the island. Anyway, this is not the subject of today’s article but it’s good to mention that the press, through the recent scandals, proved me right. As a pure-bred Mauritian, having spent all my life (so far) in my motherland, I have some legitimate reason to believe that my observations and opinions are not (totally) irrelevant.

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Mauritius employment laws & regulations, an overview

Every foreigner who wants to relocate or invest in Mauritius has the duty to understand the laws and rules in force in the country. Even if many can afford the support of professionals in the fields, some basic knowledge still remains important. We are launching a series of short articles on our blog to help our readers understand the laws (and the spirit of law) which are related to the setting-up & operation of business in Mauritius. This series will include, amongst others: company law, accounting rules, tax rules and employment. We start our series with the last topic: employment.

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Walk on, with your head high

Mauritius has been in the limelight following ‘many’ events that were reported in international press. Bad publicity does not exist, they say but nonetheless paradise-island was somewhat hurt in what was relayed in the media. A bullet fired to our open wings. It does not matter, we still remain one of the world’s best destinations and no one can counter that. I think the island is worth some praise, despite our internal problems and pains – who does not have them?

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