Mauritius National Development Plan



Location: Mauritius

Service: Master Plan




The Mauritian economy has traditionally been dominated by a sugar mono-crop. With commodity prices in decline, calls to diversify the economy and embrace new industries including tourism and manufacturing became urgent. The leadership’s commitment to change has allowed Mauritius to succeed in transforming its economy and becoming a stable middle income country, heralded by World Bank and the IMF as a model for other developing economies. This economic transformation has been aided by its National Development Plan which has created a physical policy framework to support change and encourage private sector investment.

The National Development Plan was developed around four key issues. Firstly, the declining profitability of the primary product sugar cane; the rising population (Mauritius holds one of the highest population -and car ownership- density when compared to other islands with a similar land mass); poorly controlled urban growth; and the need to diversify the tourism industry.

The national development plan was prepared in close consultation with all stakeholders and outlined ways in which unprofitable sugar cane plantations within the central land mass could be re-used for a combination of cash crop businesses and tourism. An example was a mountain-top tea plantation, offering a small boutique hotel, and hiking trails within its land boundary. The plan also identified land (formerly used to grow sugar cane) for the new affordable housing, and to accommodate new knowledge based economies such as internet technology businesses, call centres and business support (or outsourcing) centres. Local area plans were thus also produced, e.g. housing at Le Bouchon, and a new business park and related housing at the Côte d’Or Highlands.

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