• PORT LOUIS (Reuters) - Mauritius' economy is expected to grow at an annual average rate of 5.5 percent from 2017 driven by higher investments and a focus on manufacturing goods, the country's prime minister said on Saturday.

    Macro Economic Indicators

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    Image Credit: Invest Mauritius

     

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    Sources: World Bank, CIA World Factbook, African Economic Outlook

    The Indian Ocean island state's $10 billion a year economy depends on tourism, financial services and exports of agricultural goods.

    Anerood Jugnauth told a gathering of top government and private sector officials the island grew at an average rate of 3 percent annually over the past nine years.

    “We are targeting an average growth rate of 5.5 percent annually as from 2017,” Jugnauth said.

    He said the objective is to reach a GDP per capita of above $13,500 by the year 2018 from $10,000 now.

    The manufacturing sector, which accounts for 18 percent of GDP, is expected to grow to 25 percent in the next three years.

    Mauritius is targeting increased manufacturing of pharmaceutical drugs, jewelry and fast moving consumer goods.

    Jugnauth said other pillars of the economy will be strengthened while new sectors like the ocean economy will be developed to create thousands of jobs.

    “There are, right now, some 40 major private sector investments projects to the tune of 183 billion rupees, of which foreign direct investment represent 140 billion rupees,” the prime minister said.

    He said these projects have the potential of creating 100,000 new direct and indirect jobs within the coming five years. Some 16,000 new jobs will be created during the current financial year.

    Over the next five years government will invest 75 billion rupees ($2.13 billion) in the water sector, electricity, waste water management, roads, port, airport and communication.

    QUICK FACTS

    Official name: Republic of Mauritius

    Form of government: Republic

    Capital: Port Louis

    Freedom House status: Free

    Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index: 70

    ($1 = 35.2800 Mauritius rupees)