“For a relatively small island Mauritius has got a strongly diverse industry. Some of these industries are clear to see when you visit the island whereas some may come as a surprise!
Join me as I explore the different areas of the Mauritius industry and find out some of the unique things the island produces. If you don't find what you are looking for you can always contact me by clicking on one of the inquiry form buttons throughout this site".
When we talk about agriculture in Mauritius we mean sugarcane production. When you drive around the island, depending of the season you will see either, luscious green fields of long growing sugar cane stretching out for miles, or you will see dry cut back fields looking very dehydrated. The point is there is a lot of sugarcane!
40% of the island is used for agricultural purposes and 95% of this is sugarcane land and factory's. This makes sugarcane by far the most important crop on the island and is responsible for 25% of the islands export earnings. The majority of the sugar is exported to the European Union.
In 1858 there were 259 sugarcane mills around Mauritius however after Independence the number steeply dropped to only 4 mills still in operation today. These 4 produce 450,000 tons of sugar a year. Originally workers would tackle the field manually and cut the crop down by hand, however jobs are scarce these days as much of the harvest is mechanised.
Sugarcane production is decreasing over the years due to high costs of operating the fields and decreasing prices of sugar. The sugarcane industry has faced many challenges and had proved it's resilience. Being such a huge part of the history of Mauritius it would be very sad to see this industry disappear.
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The Tamarin Salt Pans are a well know landmark indicating you have arrived in Tamarin. They have been operating since the 1800's and are sadly on only place left on the island harvesting salt using traditional methods dating back centuries and passed on by family traditions.
Salt was very important to the French during their colonisation period as it was used to preserve meat on the ships during long voyages back and fourth to Africa.
The Salt Pans and buildings on the site are all built from volcanic rock. The Pans are still operating and harvest salt all year round, depending on weather conditions.
These days the Salt Pans gain extra revenue by offering viewing to tourists. They show the process of how saltwater evaporates and leaves salt crystals behind.
Since the 1980's the textile industry in Mauritius has played a big part in the economy, with dozens of factories dotted all over the island.
Textiles covers 30-40% on the manufacturing industry in Mauritius and it brings a lot of foreign currency to country. Annually Mauritius exports USD $ 726.36 Million contributing to the economy.
In the 1980s 18,000 people were employed by the textile industry, but today due to modernisation, use of new machines and many automated processes less people are employed. As a result the industry is more environmentally friendly.
Big brands such as Zara, Mango, Calvin Klein, Next, Woolworths, Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger, Puma and many more are being manufactured in Mauritius and exported world-wide. Mainly to South Africa, the United States, United Kingdom, France and Madagascar
The Tuna Industry is massive in Mauritius. With Tuna being one of the most valuable traded fish in the world Mauritius are very lucky to have a fishing hotspot in the surrounding depths of the Indian Ocean.
A whopping 20% of the worlds tuna trade comes from the Indian Ocean (with Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion and other small islands benefiting.)
23% of exports in Mauritius are Tuna, mainly the canned variety. This industry creates direct employment for thousands of the Mauritian population. At the factories in Mauritius each fish is utilised as much as possible to reduce waste.
The capital, Port Louis, is home to a state of the art Tuna Canning factory at Princess Tuna with top quality checking and international standards. This has helped Mauritius make it to the list of top 10 counties in the world for tuna product exportation. Mauriitus is the 3rd biggest exporter of Tuna to Europe and exports also head to the United States and Asian markets.
One big problem which is effecting the Mauritius Tuna industry is over fishing and illegal fishing activities. The government has been forced to put a maximum on the number of fish caught to allow for fisheries to replenish. This will have a direct effect on production.
Mauritius is new to the rum distillery game in comparison with big players such as the Caribbean and South America. This is due to the laws the government imposed. They prohibited the production of rum from sugarcane juice as refined sugar was a more profitable business.
However in 2006 this was lifted and Mauritius began producing small amounts of rum. The lifting of this ban introduced new players and encouraged old ones to diversity. The industry has been described as 'on the verge of greatness' if Mauritius gets its name out to the world as distillers of rum they could be very successful!
At the moment there are approximately 6 distilleries with the newest being Chamarel. Located high up the winding roads in the South-West of the island, the beautiful mountain view of Chamarel Rum Distillery has got a very good reputation on the island and with international visiter's. The Distillery offers a unique experience to visiter's to come and see the process and try out the different types and flavours of rum at the bar. (For more info check out the Rum in Mauritius Page below)
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INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CENTRE (IFC)
Mauritius has a sophisticated, transparent and well-regulated IFC with a well developed ecosystem offering a complete range of financial products such as treasury management centres, global funds, protected cell companies, captives, family offices and trusts.
The Mauritius IFC boasts more than two decades’ track record in cross-border investment and finance, and offers an unparalleled well-regulated and transparent platform.
As an internationally recognised jurisdiction of repute, the Mauritius IFC is home to a number of international banks, legal firms, corporate services, investment funds and private equity funds.
To incentivise new activities and growth in the sector the Government has introduced tax holidays for setting up regional headquarters, investment banking, and fund management, amongst others.
It is estimated that the financial services sector, including banking, directly employs more than 15,000 professionals and currently contributes 11.8% of the Mauritian economy. The 2020 World Bank awards for ease of doing business awarded Mauritius a global rank of 13 out of 190 countries and 1st in Africa.
On arrival in Mauritius I was pleasantly surprised to find much like my own nation, the Mauritians are also a tea drinking nation! With 4 private tea plantions around the island the Mauritian tea industry generates $19.50 million. The plantations are
In 2020 Mauritius exported $560,000 of Tea making it the worlds 91st biggest exported of tea! With tea from Mauritius travelling all over the world to France ($373k), China ($101k), South Africa ($38.5k), Australia ($14.7k), and Japan ($9.09k).
Bois Cheri is the old and most well know tea brand on the island. Their planation is beautiful and a must see while on the island. You can visit, have a tour, see the process from leaf picking to trying all the different teas.
I have tried Corson and Bois Cheri tea and found them very pleasant, I definitely recommend them. You find them at most supermarkets.