Trade Profile

flag Mauritius Mauritius: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Mauritius has a liberal economic and trade policy, with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 98% (World Bank, latest data available). 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 weighted average applied tariff is only 0.92%). In 2021, Mauritius exports were led by clothing (24.4%, mainly t-shirts, shirts and suits), prepared or preserved fish (13.5%), and sugar (10%, sugarcane occupies 85% of the country's cultivated land); while the country imported chiefly petroleum products (17.2%), machinery (6.9%), vehicles (6.1%), and electrical machinery and equipment (6% - data ITC).

The country’s main trading partners are South Africa (13.8% of the total), France (13.4%), the United Kingdom (9.2%), the United States (8.3%), and Madagascar (7.7%); with imports originating from China (17.7%), India (15.6%), the UAE (8.8%), South Africa (8%), and France (6.7% - data ITC 2021).

Mauritius imports more than it exports, resulting in a structural trade deficit. In 2021, the country exported USD 1.9 billion worth of merchandise (+9.6% year-on-year) against USD 5.1 billion in imports (+21.4% y-o-y). Traditionally, the country is a net service exporter, thanks to its tourism sector. Nevertheless, in 2021 the balance of trade in services turned negative (USD 1.233 billion in commercial services export against USD 1.430 billion in imports - data by WTO). When computing both goods and services, Mauritius’ trade deficit stood at 9.7% of GDP in 2021 (from 7.1% one year earlier - World Bank). According to the latest data from Statistics Mauritius, total export proceeds for the year 2022 were valued at MUR 101,680 million, representing an increase of 24% over the 2021 figure, thanks to increases in “food and live animals" (+22.6%), “manufactured goods classified chiefly by material" (+18.6%) and “miscellaneous manufactured articles" (+12.7%). In the same year, imports reached MUR 292,429 million (+36.1% y-o-y). Overall, the trade deficit for the year 2022 stood at MUR 190,749 million, around 43.6% higher than the 2021 deficit.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 5,6615,5964,2205,1336,609
Exports of Goods (million USD) 2,3662,2231,7891,9622,388
Imports of Services (million USD) 2,1462,0711,3071,4122,032
Exports of Services (million USD) 3,2203,0351,3001,2322,618
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -02-29810
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 1-3-291238
Trade Balance (million USD) -3,015-3,071-2,126-2,683-3,618
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 98968698119
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 5252475463
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 4644394456

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

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Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
South Africa 13.4%
France 12.9%
Madagascar 9.0%
United Kingdom 8.6%
United States 8.0%
See More Countries 48.1%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
China 16.1%
India 9.8%
South Africa 9.1%
United Arab Emirates 9.0%
Oman 8.3%
See More Countries 47.8%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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Main Products

1.9 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Prepared or preserved fish; caviar and caviar...Prepared or preserved fish; caviar and caviar substitutes prepared from fish eggs 13.6%
Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in...Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form 10.5%
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, tracksuits, ski suits and swimwear) 6.2%
Diamonds, whether or not worked, but not mounted...Diamonds, whether or not worked, but not mounted or set (excl. unmounted stones for pick-up styluses, worked stones, suitable for use as parts of meters, measuring instruments or other articles of chapter 90) 5.1%
T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or...T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or crocheted 4.5%
See More Products 60.1%
6.6 bn USD of products imported in 2022
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 19.1%
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) 4.0%
Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish...Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 3.1%
Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels...Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels manufactured from coal 2.6%
Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular...Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, incl. apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network]; parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528) 2.6%
See More Products 68.7%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows

 
 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Member of South African Development Community (SADC)

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

Member of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

Member of Indian Ocean Rim - Association for Regional Cooperation

Click here for a comprehensive list of trade agreements signed by Mauritius.

Useful Resources
Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA)
 
 
 

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Latest Update: December 2023