Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean. Mauritius lies east of Madagascar and has a land mass of 2,040 sq km. The main island is of volcanic origin and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reef. The population is approximately 1.3 million.
Mauritius has a rich and diverse cultural and economic background. The country was first visited by the Arabs and later by the Portuguese. The Dutch were the first nation which made an attempt for settlement during the seventeenth century. After their departure the French landed on the island and were followed by the British who invaded the island in 1810 and defeated the French. Mauritius remained a British colony until 1968 when it became an independent member of the Commonwealth.
Mauritius has a rich and diverse cultural and economic background
The Mauritius economy was shaped by sugar cane farming, but this was diversified in the 1970s and 1980s into export orientated manufacturing (mostly textile) and up-market tourism, with Mauritius becoming one of the top destinations for honeymoons. In the late 1980s and early 1990s the services sector, including international financial services, was developed.
The government is a parliamentary democracy and the chief of state is the President, and the head of government is the Prime Minister. Mauritius has a mixed economic system in which the economy includes a variety of private freedom, combined with centralised economic planning and government regulation. Mauritius is a member of the African Union (AU), African Economic Community (AEC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). The domestic currency is the Mauritian Rupee.