flag Mauritius Mauritius: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Mauritius has a liberal economic and trade policy, with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 78.7% (World Bank, 2020 – 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 average applied tariff is only 0.92%). In 2020, Mauritius exports were led by prepared or preserved fish, cane or beet sugar (sugarcane occupies 85% of the country's cultivated land), and clothing (mainly t-shirts, shirts and suits); while the country imported chiefly petroleum products, frozen fish, cars, medicaments and radio transmission equipment.

The country’s main trading partners are South Africa (11.8% of the total), France (11.4%), the United Kingdom (10%), the United States (9.7%), and Madagascar (6.8%); with imports originating in China (16.6%), the UAE (12.3%), India (9.5%), South Africa (7.7%), and France (7.3%).

Mauritius imports more than it exports, resulting in a structural trade deficit. In 2020, both export and imports of merchandise decreased as a consequence of the global crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. While imports stood at USD 4.2 billion (-24.3% year-on-year), exports decreased at a slower pace (-19.4%), totalling USD 1.8 billion. Traditionally, the country is a net service exporter, thanks to its tourism sector. Nevertheless, in 2020 the balance of trade in services turned negative (USD 1.298 billion of commercial services export against USD 1.311 billion of imports - data by WTO). When computing both goods and services, Mauritius’ trade deficit stood at 18.7% of GDP in 2020 (from 15.2% one year earlier - World Bank). According to the latest data from Statistics Mauritius, total merchandise export proceeds for the year 2021 were valued at MUR 82,105 million, representing an increase of 16.9% over the 2020 figure, thanks to increases in “Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material" (+27.5%), “Miscellaneous manufactured articles" (+24.0%) and “Food and live animals" (+1.9%). As per imports, they reached MUR 215,186 million, representing an increase of 29.8% year-on-year.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 5,2545,6615,5964,2345,142
Exports of Goods (million USD) 2,3422,3662,2231,7911,964
Imports of Services (million USD) 2,1712,1442,1131,3111,430
Exports of Services (million USD) 3,0173,2142,9441,2981,233
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2-02-298
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 11-4-2812
Trade Balance (million USD) -2,648-3,015-3,071-2,126-2,688
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 10198968698
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 5352524754
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 4846443944

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

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Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
South Africa 13.9%
France 13.5%
United Kingdom 9.1%
United States 8.1%
Madagascar 7.7%
See More Countries 47.6%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
China 17.8%
India 15.6%
United Arab Emirates 8.6%
South Africa 8.0%
France 6.7%
See More Countries 43.3%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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Main Products

1.7 bn USD of products exported in 2021
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 10.1%
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) 6.1%
T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or...T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or crocheted 5.2%
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) 4.1%
See More Products 61.1%
5.2 bn USD of products imported in 2021
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 13.9%
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) 4.3%
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) 3.9%
Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish...Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 3.6%
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) 2.1%
See More Products 72.2%

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
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)
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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Latest Update: March 2023