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Friday, 15 February, 2002, 18:06 GMT
Mauritius broadens scope
Sweeping beach on island of Mauritius
Tourism is one of the island's main money earners
The island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean is trying to sell itself as the next cyber island.

The Minister for Information Technology and Telecoms, Geehad Geelchand, is currently touring India, England, France and Ireland to promote the idea.

The country is more commonly known for its success in sugar and textile exports and tourism.

Mr Geelchand told the BBC's World Business Report that Mauritius was ideally located, being only four hours ahead of the UK and three hours ahead of the rest of Europe.

Advantages

One of the best things the country can offer is its infrastructure.

There is a system of underground optical fibre links and the island is connected to Europe via satellite.

After May, the island will be connected to Europe via a submarine cable optic fibre which links Portugal to Malaysia via Mauritius.

"We shall be having 80 gigabits of capacity on our information super highway," Mr Geelchand said.

Incentives

Another advantage his country offered, Mr Geelchand explained, was a bilingual population speaking English and French, and also Oriental languages such as Chinese and Hindi.

To encourage IT companies to locate their business in Mauritius, the government is offering:

  • Tax incentives

  • Electricity at preferential rates

  • Opportunity to acquire property and land

  • Permanent resident status
  •  WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    Telecoms Minister Geehad Geelchand
    "After May, we will be connected to Europe via submarine cable optical fibre line"
    See also:

    15 Feb 02 | Sci/Tech
    Nigeria embraces new technology
    10 Jan 02 | Business
    China investment in Mauritius cotton
    14 Nov 99 | Sci/Tech
    Optic fibre world records broken
    13 Feb 02 | Business
    Accounting fears hit telecom shares
    02 Nov 99 | South Asia
    Andhra Pradesh goes fibre optic
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