Strategically positioned at the confluence of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, Mauritius has emerged as a preferred destination for multinational corporations seeking a strategic regional headquarters. Recognizing this advantage, Mauritius introduced the Regional Headquarters Scheme (RHQ), aimed at enticing companies to establish their regional offices on the island.

Under the RHQ Scheme, international companies operating within any member state of a regional economic bloc that includes Mauritius (such as SADC, COMESA, IOC, IOR) are eligible to set up their regional headquarters on the island. This initiative has already attracted prominent global entities like Coca-Cola, Galana, Fininter, and Jan de Nul, solidifying Mauritius’ status as a regional business hub.

The RHQ Scheme offers a broad spectrum of qualifying activities that companies can undertake from their Mauritian base. These activities encompass administration, business planning, procurement, corporate finance advisory, marketing, training, logistics, research and development (R&D), technical support, data processing, business development, and other economically beneficial activities as determined by the Board of Investment.

Incentives under the RHQ Scheme are designed to make Mauritius an even more attractive proposition for multinational corporations. Key benefits include a 10-year tax holiday on foreign-sourced income, provided that at least 80% of the company’s income is derived from outside Mauritius. This tax incentive significantly reduces the tax burden for companies operating regional headquarters on the island.

Additionally, dividends paid by these companies are tax-free, enhancing the attractiveness of Mauritius as a dividend distribution center. The scheme also allows for duty-free importation of office furniture, equipment, and personal belongings of expatriate employees (excluding vehicles), facilitating cost-effective setup and operation of regional offices. Companies can also import up to two duty-free cars for expatriate staff, further easing logistical and operational challenges.

Furthermore, the RHQ Scheme extends concessional personal income tax rates for up to two expatriate and non-resident Mauritian employees during their first four years of employment. This measure not only supports the relocation and retention of skilled international personnel but also contributes to the overall competitiveness of Mauritius as a regional headquarters location.

In conclusion, Mauritius’ Regional Headquarters Scheme underscores its commitment to attracting multinational corporations by offering a combination of strategic location, favorable tax incentives, and operational support. By leveraging its geographic advantage and investor-friendly policies, Mauritius continues to position itself as a pivotal gateway for businesses looking to expand their regional footprint in Africa and beyond.