Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Mauritius
Mauritius is committed to fighting poverty and promoting its population’s well-being. One key aspect of this process was the introduction of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) through the Finance Act introduced in 2009 following the National Budget Speech. According to this law, all companies are required to devote 2% of their profits to CSR or invest these funds in social and environmental projects.
Mauritius was one of the first countries in the world to introduce CSR in 2009, applying to profitable companies. This law aims to promote sustainable development in Mauritius. Since then, all companies in Mauritius, except for a few, depending on specific criteria, must provide for a CSR Fund.
What is the CSR Fund all about?
The objective of the CSR Fund is to improve the social and economic conditions of the Mauritian population. It can be implemented in the following priority areas:
- Dealing with health issues
- Educational support and training;
- Environmental and sustainable development;
- Family protection, including gender-based violence;
- Advocacy, capacity building and research for consideration as crosscutting throughout the priority areas of intervention;
- Recreation and sports;
- Peace and nation-building;
- Road safety and security;
- Social housing;
- Socio-economic development as a means to alleviate poverty;
- Assistance to people with disabilities;
- Other relevant areas as determined by the Minister.
What types of companies are concerned?
CSR applies to all profitable and resident companies in Mauritius, with a few exceptions, including the following:
- Global Business Companies;
- Banks for transactions with non-residents or companies holding a Global Business License;
- IRS companies;
- Non-resident companies, foundations or trusts;
- Freeport operators;
- Freeport private developers with respect to export income;
- Companies that have elected to pay a flat tax rate under section 111V of the Income Tax Act 1995 (ITA).
CSR in Mauritius: Boosting change and progress
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Mauritius is much more than a legal obligation for companies. Its main objective is to transform businesses into drivers of social and environmental progress. While companies in Mauritius are legally required to spend 2% of their profits on CSR initiatives, more and more of them are embracing this concept with enthusiasm.
For these companies, CSR is not just about philanthropy or maintaining their image but an opportunity to contribute to a more sustainable future for the country as a whole while strengthening their relationships with their customers.
The Mauritian business landscape is rapidly evolving as companies adopt strategic approaches to meet CSR requirements while improving their profitability. This shift is evidence that CSR is not just a legal requirement but a powerful lever for strengthening corporate reputation, building customer loyalty and driving long-term growth.
The evolution of procedures
A few years back, resident companies and corporations in Mauritius enjoyed the flexibility of spending their entire Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund per their own internal CSR policies. However, the 2016 Finance Act introduced a legal requirement according to which every resident company or corporation is required to pay a certain percentage of its CSR Fund to the Chief Executive Officer.
Overall, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plays a key role in promoting sustainable development in Mauritius. It’s, therefore, crucial for all companies operating in the country to fully understand the legal obligations related to CSR as well as the specific areas where these funds can be allocated. By following these guidelines, you will be actively contributing to the continuous improvement of Mauritian society.
For more information about CSR in Mauritius, contact Magellan. Our team of experts will be happy to assist you in understanding all the aspects related to your new business venture in Mauritius.