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      flag Mauritius Mauritius: Trade Profile

      Foreign Trade in Figures

      Mauritius has a liberal economic and trade policy, with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 92% (World Bank, 2019). The country is a member of the WTO, as well as other regional economic groups (COMESA, SADC, IOC). Mauritius aims to transform the island into an open and globally competitive economy and to fully integrate it into the world trade system through its trade policies. Comparatively, the island does not have many trade barriers and customs duties are low (the average applied tariff is only 0.81%). In 2019, Mauritius exports were led by prepared or preserved fish, clothing (mainly t-shirts, shirts and suits), and cane or beet sugar (sugarcane occupies 85% of the country's cultivated land); while the country imported chiefly petroleum products, cars, frozen fish, medicaments and radio transmission equipment. According to estimates from the IMF, in 2020 the COVID-19-induced crisis disrupted considerably Mauritius’ international trade, with exports plummeting by -35.8% and imports decreasing by -12.6%. As the global situation is expected to stabilize over the course of 2021, both indexes are forecasted to rebound (+21.6% for exports and 10.5% for imports – IMF). Preliminary figures from Statistics Mauritius, however, show that during 2020 exports of goods decreased by 10.8% (to MUR 70,324 million) whereas imports lost 16.3% (to MUR 166,268 million).

      The country’s main trading partners are France (12.6% of the global total), the United Kingdom (11.1%), the United States (10.8%), South Africa (10.4%), Madagascar (7%), Italy (5.5%), and Spain (4.4%); with imports originating in China (16.7%), India (13.9%), South Africa (8.1%), the UAE (7.3%), and France (7%).

      Mauritius imports more than it exports, resulting in a structural trade deficit. In 2019, both export and imports of merchandise had remained stable compared to the previous year, at USD 2.2 billion and USD 5.6 billion, respectively. However, the country is a net service exporter (USD 2.9 billion of commercial services export against USD 2.1 billion of imports - 2019 data by WTO). When computing both goods and services, Mauritius’ trade deficit stood at 15.1% of GDP in 2019 (from 13.5% one year earlier - World Bank).

      Foreign Trade Indicators 20152016201720182019
      Imports of Goods (million USD) 4,7924,6545,2545,6615,609
      Exports of Goods (million USD) 2,4572,3612,3422,3662,230
      Imports of Services (million USD) 2,1762,0682,1712,1822,128
      Exports of Services (million USD) 2,6542,8673,0173,1802,943
      Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 93202
      Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2-3-121
      Trade Balance (million USD) -1,862-2,031-2,648-3,015n/a
      Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 10598979593
      Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 5754555454
      Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 4844424139

      Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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      Main Partner Countries

      Main Customers
      (% of Exports)
      France 12.6%
      United Kingdom 11.1%
      United States 10.8%
      South Africa 10.4%
      Madagascar 7.0%
      See More Countries 48.0%
      Main Suppliers
      (% of Imports)
      China 16.7%
      India 13.9%
      South Africa 8.1%
      United Arab Emirates 7.3%
      France 7.0%
      See More Countries 47.1%

      Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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      Main Products

      1.9 bn USD of products exported in 2019
      Prepared or preserved fish; caviar and caviar...Prepared or preserved fish; caviar and caviar substitutes prepared from fish eggs 13.5%
      Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in...Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form 10.2%
      Men's or boys' shirts (excl. knitted or crocheted,...Men's or boys' shirts (excl. knitted or crocheted, nightshirts, singlets and other vests) 6.9%
      T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or...T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or crocheted 6.2%
      Men's or boys' suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers,...Men's or boys' suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (excl. knitted or crocheted, wind-jackets and similar articles, separate waistcoats, track suits, ski suits and swimwear) 5.3%
      See More Products 57.8%
      5.6 bn USD of products imported in 2019
      Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 15.6%
      Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.4%
      Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish...Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 4.1%
      Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 2.7%
      Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.5%
      See More Products 70.8%

      Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data


      To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows


      Main Services

      3.2 bn USD of services exported in 2018
      2.1 bn USD of services imported in 2018

      Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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      Trade Compliance

      International Conventions
      Member of World Trade Organisation
      Main International Economic Cooperation
      Member of South African Development community (SADC)

      Member of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

      Member of Indian Ocean Rim - Association for Regional Cooperation

      Useful Resources
      Statistics Mauritius
      Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA)
      National Organisation of Intellectual Property
      Website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade.
      For more contact information, visit this page

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