Mauritius flag Mauritius: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Mauritius

Foreign Trade in Figures

Mauritius has a liberal economic and trade policy, with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 119% (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. In 2023, Mauritius exports were led by articles of apparel & clothing accessories (23.5%), fish and fish preparations (20.3%), cane sugar (17.3%), textile yarns, fabrics, made-up articles (7.8%); whereas the country imported chiefly machinery & transport equipment (23.5%), mineral fuels, lubricants, & related products (20.6%), food and live animals (19.1%), manufactured goods classified chiefly by material (13.3%), miscellaneous manufactured articles (9.2% - data Statistics Mauritius).

The country’s main export destinations in 2023 were South Africa (12.7%), the United Kingdom (12.4%), France (10.9%), the U.S. (10.8%), Spain (8.2%), Madagascar (8.1%), and Italy (6.3%); while imports came mostly from China (15.8%), the United Arab Emirates (11.1%), India (10.2%), South Africa (7.3%), France (6.1%), Germany (3.3%), and Japan (3.1% - data Statistics Mauritius).
Mauritius imports more than it exports, resulting in a structural trade deficit. In 2022, the country exported USD 2.38 billion worth of merchandise (+21.7% year-on-year) against USD 6.60 billion in imports (+28.7% y-o-y). Traditionally, the country is a net service exporter, thanks to its tourism sector: in 2022, Mauritius exported USD 2.6 billion worth of services against USD 2 billion in imports. When computing both goods and services, Mauritius’ trade deficit stood at 6.1% of GDP in 2022 (from 9.6% one year earlier - World Bank). According to the latest data from Statistics Mauritius, in 2023, total export proceeds amounted to MUR 104,081 million, marking a 1.4% decline from MUR 105,524 million in 2022. This decrease primarily stems from drops in "manufactured goods classified chiefly by material" (-13.0%) and "miscellaneous manufactured articles" (-9.4%), although partially mitigated by an increase in "food and live animals" (+17.2%). On the import front, total imports for 2023 totaled MUR 284,348 million, reflecting a 2.7% reduction compared to MUR 292,112 million in 2022. This decline is chiefly attributed to decreases in "manufactured goods classified chiefly by material" (-18.4%) and "mineral fuels, lubricants & related products" (-12.4%), but somewhat offset by rises in "machinery & transport equipment" (+18.4%) and "food and live animals" (+3.4%).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 5,5964,2205,1336,6096,284
Exports of Goods (million USD) 2,2231,7891,9622,3882,300
Imports of Services (million USD) 2,0711,3071,4122,0322,184
Exports of Services (million USD) 3,0351,3001,2322,6183,372

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 98.196.385.998.2119.3
Trade Balance (million USD) -3,015-3,071-2,126-2,683-3,618
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -1,941-2,106-2,134-2,863-3,031
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -0.21.6-28.67.710.0
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 1.2-2.7-28.711.538.3
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 52.052.246.554.063.1
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 46.144.139.444.256.2

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 10.29.79.76.94.6
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 1.53.84.14.23.8

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
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.

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2023
France 14.7%
South Africa 10.8%
United States 9.4%
United Kingdom 9.3%
Madagascar 7.3%
See More Countries 48.5%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2023
China 15.8%
United Arab Emirates 11.1%
India 10.2%
South Africa 7.3%
France 6.1%
See More Countries 49.5%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

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, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

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Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2024. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: May 2024