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Mauritius beckons Indian finance pros

Economic Times, India

Mauritius beckons Indian finance pros

Deepshikha Sikarwar & G Ganapathy Subramaniam

Times News Network

14 March 2007

NEW DELHI: Indian financial services professionals, chartered accountants, capital market experts, merchant bankers, insurance specialists, actuaries and even lawyers, are set to get a warm welcome in Mauritius.

Having amended its laws to allow Indian chartered accounts to audit accounts of global business companies there, Mauritius has now proposed permanent resident status to Indian financial sector professionals.

The move comes even as New Delhi examines a proposal to set up an international financial centre in Mauritius. The centre will immensely benefit India Inc along with the professionals as the cost of finance and re-insurance falls.
The proposed centre would also have an international arbitration component.

The Mauritius government is keen to have an Indian practitioner onboard the working group set up to establish the centre. The joint team would later be developed into a Services Sector Development Board and cater to the needs of both the countries with regard to financial services. Access to Indian professionals is being proposed under this strategic initiative, a source told ET. India is examining the suggestion, the source said.

The initiative is aimed at broadening and deepening bilateral ties and is expected to lower the cost of insurance premium for companies investing in India. The proposed centre would act as a one-stop shop for international companies operating out of Mauritius.

About 35% of India’s FDI inflows are routed through Mauritius. FIIs investing here too follow the same route. Most investors set up a global business company in Mauritius which serves as the vehicle for investments in India.

Mauritius has also roped in Financial Technologies, the promoter of Multi-commodity Futures Exchange, to set up a pan-African commodities exchange.

India and Mauritius are also discussing a Comprehensive Economic Co-operation and Partnership Agreement. The agreement, which will include deals on goods, services, investment and economic co-operation, is likely to be finalised soon.