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City (pop., 2003 est.: 147,688), capital, and main port of Mauritius. It was founded c. 1736 by the French as a port for ships rounding the Cape of Good Hope to and from Asia and Europe. With the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, the city's importance declined. It is the principal commercial centre of the island of Mauritius; its primary exports are textiles and sugar. Manufacturing and service industries, including tourism, are also based in the city. Aapravasi Ghat, an immigration depot used from 1849 to 1923 and designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2006, is located there.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Port Louis, visit Britannica.com.