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Mauritius taps into British FinTech know-how

Mauritius taps into British FinTech know-how

Mauritius has announced that it will be holding a conference on financial technology this week in partnership with The British High Commission in a bid to learn from and replicate the UK's successes in the sector.

The 2017 UK-Mauritius FinTech conference, in association with the Mauritius Financial Services Promotion Agency (FSPA) and the nation's Board of Investment (BOI), is a consequence of the visit by the Lord Mayor of the City of London to Mauritius in 2016 - which laid the foundations for broadening the relationship between the Mauritius International Financial Centre (IFC) and the City of London, according to organisers.

Jonathan Drew, The British High Commissioner to Mauritius says Britain can impart important lessons to Mauritius on how to exploit FinTech for the growth of its financial industry.

"With a GDP of around $3 trillion, the UK is the fifth largest economy in the world. Within Britain's globally facing economy, London is regarded as the world's leading financial hub. FinTech is all about finding innovative solutions in both a fast-moving industry and ever-changing world. The Mauritian financial sector has developed rapidly over the past 20 years and should greatly benefit from FinTech to help the country reach high-income status."

Nicole Anderson, CEO of London-based fintech accelerator FinTech Circle Innovate is set to lead a panel that will share insights on ways to apply the British FinTech model in Mauritius, implement innovative solutions in the financial services sector and drive economic growth.

Hon Sudarshan Bhadain, GCSK, Minister of Financial Services, Good Governance and Institutional Reforms in Mauritius will also address the upcoming conference.

The British High Commission, FSPA and BOI say the overarching goal of the event is to look into the development of Mauritius as a FinTech hub for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Harvesh Seegolam, Chief Executive of FSPA, says FinTech is a key segment for Mauritius. "At the FSPA, we have a strategic focus to develop Mauritius as the FinTech Hub for the region. We are discussing with select global companies operating in this space, many of which are from the UK. This event will allow us to consolidate the Mauritius IFC as the regional FinTech destination, in line with our broader strategy."

The 2016 UK FinTech report compiled by EY on behalf of the UK government found that the sector grew from its disruptive roots into an industry generating £6.6b in revenue in 2015. It also emerged from the report that 61,000 people are employed in the sector which accounts for 5% of the total financial services (FS) workforce and that more people work in UK FinTech than in New York FinTech, or in the combined FinTech workforce of Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

Ken Poonoosamy, Managing Director of BOI defined FinTech as a way to obtain highly positive results in the very short term in communication as part of the investment agency's 2016 newsletter issued last month.

"The way forward is to smartly harness energies by resolutely jettisoning all outdated practices while instilling a new mindset aligned with the transformational changes happening globally in the digital economy and the Fintech architecture."

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