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Republic of Mauritius: Prime Minister's statement on the "Paradise Papers"
The Government of Mauritius has taken cognizance of serious and unfounded allegations levelled against the Mauritius jusrisdiction by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on information they leaked in the so-called "Paradise Papers" and subsequent articles.
We find it extremely important that Mauritius, as an international financial centre of repute, should set the record straight.
Mauritius has been falsely described as a tax heaven ans a place which promotes an environment of secrecy. Nothing can be further from the truth. Accroding to the OECD criteria, Mauritius is not a tax haven. Our jurisdiction has always adopted sound regulatory practices and cmaplied with international standards on transparency and exchange of information.
In June 2005, the country adhered to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, and currently has an exchange of information mechanism with 127 jurisdictions. We have committed to exchange information on an automatic basis under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) as from 2018, as an early adopter, and are already excahnging information on an automatic basis under the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
The overall rating of 'compliant' given to Mauritius by the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of information for Tax purposes in 2017, is proof of the transparency and robustness of our exchange of information system.
Moreover, in line with the OECD and G20 initiatives to fight treaty abuse and base erosion, Mauritius is actively participating in BEPS project as a member of the Inclusive Framework has already given its commitment to implement the recommended minimum standards. We are also working with the OECD Forum on Harmful Tax Practices and the EU Code of Conduct Group to ensure that our tax regime has no harmful features. Mauritius remains a fully cooprative jurisdiction.
Mauritius as a founding member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) has also been at the forefront in the fight against the money laundering and other forms of financial crime.
Mauritius strongly disagrees with the statement that it is "rising at the expense of Africa". It is regrettable that in an attempt to surf on the wave of sensationalism and to toy with emotions, the authors have not realised that Mauritius is itself an African country, and proud to be so.
Mauritius has over the years created a business enabling environment that is competitive, transparent and respectful of international standards. The World Bank in its latest report on Ease of Doing Business recognises our efforts to improve our investment climate and has upgraded our ranking from 49th to 25th globally. Mauritius has also established itself as a credible platform for cross-border investments into the African continent. As a member of the African Union (AU), the SADC and the COMESA, we are contributing to the sustained economic development of the Continent and properity of all Africans.
Pravind Kumar Jugnauth
Minister of Home Affairs,
External Communications And National Development Unit,
Minister of Finance and Economic Development
09 November 2017