Mauritius sees foreign direct investment (FDI) to the Indian Ocean island falling by 42.6 percent in 2011, from record levels last year when investment was boosted by two exceptionally big deals, its Finance minister said on Tuesday.

Xavier Duval told parliament that provisional estimates from the central bank showed FDI flows of around 3.4 billion rupees ($117.85 mln) in the six months through June .

“Based on latest information available on FDI flows and expected projects, we are estimating total FDI to be around 8 billion rupees this year,” Duval told lawmakers.

Mauritius, which markets itself as a bridge between Africa and Asia, said FDI jumped 60 percent in 2010 to 13.95 billion rupees.

Duval said 2010 figures included two exceptional transactions in the healthcare and the banking sectors. Excluding those transactions, total inflows amounted to 10.4 billion rupees last year.

Famed for its white sand beaches and luxury spas, Mauritius is diversifying its economy away from the traditional sugar, textiles and tourism sectors into offshore banking, business outsourcing, luxury real estate and medical tourism. - Reuters