11. Labor Policies and Practices

According to the GoM, total employment stood at 506,300 in September 2020, a decrease from 551,300 in 2019.  The number of unemployed increased to 62,200 in September 2020 from 57,300 in July 2020.  The unemployment rate was estimated at 10.9 percent in September 2020 compared to 10.3 percent in July 2020.

The labor market remains restricted by rising unemployment among graduates and low-skilled workers, and a high number of unemployed women.  It is further characterized by a persistent mismatch between qualifications of the unemployed and the skills required in an increasingly services-oriented economy.  Government labor market programs aimed at building human capital have been extended, with policies to develop skills of the unemployed focusing on apprenticeships and placements.  In November 2016, the government introduced the National Skills Development Program (NSDP), a fully-funded technical training program for youth, which was still running as of April 2020.  The NSDP is managed by the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC), which operates under the Ministry of Education and is responsible for promoting the development of the labor force in Mauritius.  The HRDC, with technical and financial support from the French development agency, is also devising a National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) for 2020-2024.  The aim of the NSDS is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of skills development programs.  In 2018, the government introduced the SME Employment Scheme, which allows SMEs to employ recent graduates and the government pays the graduates a monthly stipend for one year.  In 2019, the government opened the scheme to diploma holders as well.

In 2017, the National Assembly passed the National Employment Act.  The object of the act was to repeal the Employment and Training Act and introduce a modern legislative framework.  The act provides the labor market with information on supply and demand of skills, job seekers, and training institutions; promotes placement and training of job seekers, including young persons and persons with disabilities; and promotes labor migration and home-based work.

In November 2017, the Equal Opportunities Act was amended to protect prospective employees with criminal records from discrimination when being considered for recruitment or promotion.

In 2018, the government introduced a minimum monthly wage of 9,000 Mauritian rupees (approximately 255 USD) for all workers, affecting over 100,000 low-paid workers.  In November 2019, the cabinet, following a recommendation from the National Wage Consultative Council, increased the minimum wage again to 10,200 rupees (284 USD), effective January 2020.  Workers’ rights are protected under the 2019 Workers’ Rights Act, taking effect in January 2020.  The legislation provides for a portable retirement gratuity fund, fair compensation in case of termination, harmonization of working conditions in different sectors, the flexibility to request the right to work from home either on a full- or part-time basis, and equal remuneration for equal work, among others.  The act also adds to the Equal Opportunities Act through several measures against discrimination in employment and occupation.

Trade unions are independent of government and employers.  Mauritius has an active trade union movement, representing about 25 percent of the workforce, and labor-management relations are generally positive.  The last major strike affecting the economy took place in 1979.  The government generally seeks to avoid strikes through a system that promotes settlement through negotiation or arbitration by the Employment Relations Tribunal and the National Remuneration Board.  Mauritius participates actively in the annual International Labor Organization (ILO) conference in Geneva, Switzerland, and adheres to ILO core conventions protecting workers’ rights.

12. U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and Other Investment Insurance and Development Finance Programs

In December 1997, Mauritius signed an investment incentive agreement with OPIC. Mauritius, classified in July 2020 a high-income country, is not a priority for DFC programs, but may be considered for programs that address key agency priorities.   Mauritius is also a member of the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.  Countries with significant government-financed investment in Mauritius include India, China, France, Saudi Arabia, and Japan.

13. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment Statistics

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy 
Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or International Source of Data:  BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
Economic Data Year Amount Year Amount
Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($M USD) 2019 $12,350 2019 $14,048
Foreign Direct Investment Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or international Source of data:  BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions) 2019 $55,548 2019 $7,760 BEA data available at
Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions) 2019 $3,973 2019 $4,682 BEA data available at
Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP 2019 408% 2019 3.3% UNCTAD data available at

* Source for Host Country Data: Bank of Mauritius. The data provided includes the stock positions of global business companies.

Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI 
Direct Investment from/in Counterpart Economy Data
From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (US Dollars, Millions)
Inward Direct Investment Outward Direct Investment
Total Inward $323,200 100% Total Outward $272,784 100%
United States $55,548 17% India $120,513 44%
Cayman Islands $46,319 14% Singapore $21,702 8%
India $25,006 8% United Kingdom $20,316 7%
Singapore $24,698 8% South Africa $9,039 3%
China, P.R, Hong Kong $19,190 6% Cayman Islands $7,544 3%
“0” reflects amounts rounded to +/- USD 500,000.
Table 4: Sources of Portfolio Investment 
Portfolio Investment Assets (June 2020)
Top Five Partners (Millions, current US Dollars)
Total Equity Securities Total Debt Securities
All Countries $117,717 100% All Countries $103,087 100% All Countries $14,631 100%
India $77,871 66% India $71,796 70% India $6,075 42%
United States $10,401 9% United States $6,253 6% United States $4,147 28%
China $5,851 5% China $5,783 6% United Kingdom $783 5%
Cayman Islands $3,513 3% Cayman Islands $3,472 3% Luxembourg $574 4%
Singapore $2,477 2% Singapore $2,261 2% Switzerland $255 2%

14. Contact for More Information

Anjana Khemraz-Chikhuri
Economic and Commercial Assistant
U.S. Embassy Port Louis
+230 202 4400

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