The Panama Papers had an undeniable impact on financial centres around the world.  Its revelations shed light into the often opaque world of international financial dealings. Since its independence in 1968, Mauritius grew dramatically from an agricultural and industrial small island nation to an emerging financial centre from which investors can base their operations to penetrate economies in Africa and the Indian Ocean.

This Capstone project provided policy recommendations to the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius (FSC), in the aftermath of the Panama Papers, which has drawn greater scrutiny towards tax optimization jurisdictions worldwide. The Capstone project consisted of three key phases: 1) research into Mauritius as a financial centre; 2) in-country field work, which entailed interviewing both public and private as well as civil society stakeholders; and 3) analyzing the information gathered and formulating policy recommendations.

The research and fieldwork found that while Mauritius may not meet all the criteria of being a tax haven, this perception still persists. Given this ongoing perception, this report outlined a set of recommendations that would assist the FSC in its stated strategic objective to position Mauritius ‘as a jurisdiction of substance with the right balance between regulation and business development. This Capstone project has the ability to add significant value in the study of tax optimization jurisdictions in the aftermath of the Panama Papers and to influence Mauritius’s non-banking financial sector, particularly in the area of tax transparency.