This paper evaluates the trade, business and investment climate currently in place within the island states of the Western Indian Ocean. Operating on the premise that trade-based globalization poses a considerable challenge to island states' economic stability and prospects for equitable development, this report argues that both state institutions and exporting firms in the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles must aggressively seek to put in place policies and practices that are conducive to attracting foreign investment, encouraging private sector growth and expanding export capabilities. As part of this analysis, this paper provides a politico-economic overview of the Western Indian Ocean island states as well as a theoretical outline of academic perspectives relating to island states' prospects for growth in a globalizing world economy. This is followed by an examination of trade and investment-related trends in these four countries (informed by primary interview research) and the presentation of potential policy options these countries can pursue to improve their competitiveness and overall trade performances.
Keywords: Development Finance, Economy, Globalization, Investment, Island States, Trade, Western Indian Ocean