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Monday, January 10, 2011

BEST PLACES IN THE WORLD (PART 28: #8 Mauritius)



Every so often, good things happen when you are on the road.  I was an invited participant at a renewable gathering in Le Reunion Island (in the Indian Ocean), when my final session statement must have inspired the delegation from Mauritius ( a neighboring island), for Arjoon Sudhoo, who held a title equivalent to the director of the National Science Foundation in the USA, asked if I could come to their country to present a talk on the Blue Revolution.  He even promised first class seats, as he was the past CEO of Air Mauritius.  The resort they placed me was absolutely fabulous...and I hear there are better ones yet.  This was one of my more enjoyable stops in my life.  The following continues the serialization of the final chapter from SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity:









 #8: Mauritius

The Republic of Mauritius is a Paradise in the Indian Ocean in the approximate location south of the equator as Hawaii is north. It’s slightly larger than the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, with just about the exact same population as Hawaii. The ethnic mix is a mélange from India, Africa and Europe, with 30,000 Chinese. Great Britain gained control from the French after winning the Napoleonic Wars. Independence was gained in 1968, the year Mauritius became a member of the United Nations, and in 1992, it was announced to be a republic within the Commonwealth with a parliamentary democracy.

There is the sad plight of the 3 foot tall, 50 pound pigeon called the Raphus cucullatus, or Dodo, which became extinct just before 1700 due to man. However, this was a bad tasting and tough bird, so more probably, the animals brought by settlers were the real cause.

As reported earlier, Singapore (Lee Kuan Yew, himself) observed the racial policies of this country in fashioning their own. Mauritius rates well in the various indexes of economic freedom, press freedom, corruption perceptions and human development. Also previously mentioned was my effusive review of their resorts and lifestyle.

The country is moving into the future with progressive policies, and is slated to become a duty free island in a few years and have total wireless internet access soon. Unemployment is very low, the official language is English and the politics are stable.

I was particularly taken by their sincere interest in considering the Blue Revolution for their future economic well-being. In many ways, Mauritius is today undergoing a similar predicament as Hawaii faced forty years ago: dying sugar industry, increasing energy prices and declining fishing prospects. The deep, surrounding ocean could be their salvation.

Of particular importance to this section is that Mauritius is open to immigration. There are web sites advertising “How to Retire to Paradise for $19/day,” with Mauritius as an option. Otherwise, officially, you need a good reason to move there, but the attitudes are positive and cost of living quite suitable.

Say you go there as a visitor and decide, heck, this is a great place to live. You can acquire for $500,000 a luxury home with all the amenities, which you can rent in your absence.  (Click on another offer.)  In 2006, the Business Facilitation Act was enacted, permitting non-residents to obtain an initial three year permit, renewable for 10-year periods of permanent resident status.



Since my visit there, Arjoon brought a group to visit Hawaii to explore prospects for the Blue Revolution.  Some change in politics has delayed progress, but I expect Mauritius to be a pioneer in the marine pathway to sustainability.  Oh, for philatelists, the second most expensive stamp is from this country.  Two oranges sold for more than a million each, and the blue for $1.4 million.  The Swedish Treskilling Yellow is worth $2.3 million, a blue U.S. Franklin Z-Grill #3 and a stamp from Hawaii, also blue, is the fourth costliest:




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The Dow Jones dropped 37 to 11,637, with world markets also almost all decreasing.  Gold is up $4/toz to $1373 and petroleum is at $89/barrel.

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