The Australian diaspora in Mauritius is as not as heavy as the Mauritians moving to Australia. Nonetheless, Australian interests have established a presence in Mauritius potent enough for some more Aussies to settle or invest in the island.
The nonprofit Australian Chamber of Commerce Mauritius (AustCham) is one dynamo that could help bring in more Australian expats and investors to Mauritius. Set up in 2018, this association holds its offices at Level 6, Ken Lee Building, 20 Edith Cavell Street, Port Louis.
AustCham membership is open not only to Australians in Mauritius. Its members also include local business organisations, Mauritians and other nationalities in Mauritius with linkages or interests in Australia.
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Australia’s springboard to Africa
AustCham’s activities that revolve around business promotions and networking extend beyond Mauritius and Australia. The association is likewise positioned as an additional platform for Australia’s entry into the African region.
Towards this end, AustCham has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Melbourne-based Australia-Africa Chamber of Commerce. This MOU forges a formal tie-up in promoting African business opportunities to Australian investors using Mauritius as the springboard.
The agreement has a sound foundation that could even foster a higher Australian diaspora in Mauritius. The island, after all, is strategically located within the “golden triangle” not only connecting Australia and Africa but also Asia.
Aussies’ growing imprint in Maurice
Many Australia companies have already recognised this advantage. The Board of Investment of Mauritius has listed over 100 Australian firms under its global business arrangements. The Aussies’ participation in Mauritius’s ocean economy is notably growing.
Trade and cultural ties between Mauritius and Australia are strong. Both belong to the GATT-WTO and are also members of the 54-nation Commonwealth, comprised of the UK and former British dependencies.
In 2019, Mauritius imported USD76.74 million worth of goods from Australia. These imports were mostly meat and dairy products. Mauritian exports to Australia, on the other hand, amounted to USD14.12 million consisting mostly of apparel, food products and wood products.
Higher learning from Perth
Significantly, a leading Australian academic institution, Curtin University, is supporting Mauritius’s bid to become a hub for higher learning in Africa. Based in Perth, this university officially established a campus in Mauritius in May 2018.
Its 14-year partnership with the Mauritian school Charles Telfair Institute formed the foundation for Curtin’s Mauritian campus. The institute has previously delivered Curtin’s degree programs to more than 2,300 Mauritian students.
In a 2017 world ranking, Curtin counted amongst the top 1 percent. Its Mauritian campus is in Moka, a central location wherein many expats including the Australian diaspora in Mauritius often congregate.