Seychelles is among countries with high human development

Posted in International Organisations, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction at 11:11 pm by Robert Klien

In accordance with United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) 2006 Human Development Report, the Seychelles is ranked 47th in the world among countries with high human development. It has joined a group of 63 countries with high human development.

The report the results come from was released on November 9, 2006.

To compare with the previous result, the Seychelles was ranked 51st  in 2005. To compare with other countries in the African and Indian Ocean region, just the Seychelles and Mauritius (63rd) were ranked in this category.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, the rating in the Report amongst the countries with high levels of human development signals the successful efforts to achieve sustainable and equitable development carried out by the Government of Seychelles within the past 30 years.

The United Nations Development Report was introduced for the 1st time in 1990. It is based on such basic indicators as GDP, access to education, literacy, health and housing, longevity, infant mortality rate, etc. The UNDP considers that the basis for countries to reducing extreme poverty and hunger, getting children an education, reducing child mortality as well as to overcoming gender inequalities depend on the government’s respond to the crisis in water.

So, it should be noted that the Seychelles’ government is intensifying its efforts to provide its population with safe drinking water.


UAE approves DTA with Seychelles

Posted in Double Taxation Agreements, International relations at 1:13 pm by Robert Klien

In October, the Seychelles announced having signed a bilateral Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with the United Arabs Emirates on September 19, 2006. This agreement is supposed to strengthen the existing good economic relationship between the two countries.

On November 12, 2006, the UAE Cabinet held its weekly meeting to discuss numerous issues. Among a number of laws, drafts and memoranda submitted by the ministers, the Double Tax Treaty with the Seychelles was on the agenda.

The United Arabs Emirates’ cabinet approved an agreement on avoidance of double taxation signed with the Seychelles.

Bilateral agreements signed with the UK, France and Northern Ireland were also approved.


Seychelles President proceeds to Singapore

Posted in Business and Economy, International relations at 4:54 pm by Robert Klien

Previoulsly, the outcomes of Seychelles President’s visit to China were discussed. However, the successful visit of James Alix Michel to China did not complete his tour. Right after concluding his visit to China, the President from capital of China’s southernmost Hainan Province, Haikou, flew to Singapore.

In Singapore’s Hainan, the President and his delegation visited Hainan Provincial Fisheries Research Institute and the permanent site of the Boao Forum for Asia as well as had a meeting with provincial governor Wei Liucheng.

Michel expressed great interest in the fishing industry as well as his hope to cooperate in this field as well emphasized that the Seychelles and Hainan had much in common to to expand exchanges and cooperation regarding natural resources, industry structure and lifestyle.


Outcomes of Seychelles President’s visit to China

Posted in Business and Economy, International relations at 9:58 pm by Robert Klien

The state visit Seychelles’ President Michel has already been discussed previously. Michel’s visit has been saturated with many events, and new information continues to be revealed.

On the very first day of the visit, just after the meeting between President Michel and President Hu Jintao in the Great Hall of the People, on November 2, 2006, Seychelles and China signed an Economic and Technical Cooperation agreement in Beijing.

The next day, on November 3, 2006, Representatives of Chinese companies took part in a lively presentation of Seychelles’ investment potentials launched by President James Michel. He said his country was after a new phase of partnership and companies from China could help in building the new Seychelles and benefit from the investments.

The Minister for Industries, Investment and Technology, Jacquelin Dugasse, introduced the possibilities for the Chinese businessmen to extend their operations in Seychelles in several sectors like infrastructure installations, fisheries, tourism, quarrying and oil exploration that need foreign expertise and capitals for development. The Chinese businessmen at the presentation represented aircraft manufacturing, seafood production, construction, retailing, textile and telecommunications and other sectors.

The first group of Chinese businessmen is expected to visit Seychelles in 2 months after the presentation and explore new investment opportunities there.

As to the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation, it closed on November 5, 2006 with the adoption of an action plan defining the tasks and goals in collaboration between China and African countries for the 2007-09 period. The collaboration has been discussed in four spheres – political relations, economic co-operation, international affairs and social development.

To conclude, to say that the President’s visit was fruitful is to say nothing, however, at the same time, the outcomes and results will become obvious in the course of time.


Seychelles raises house loan limits

Posted in Business and Economy at 6:55 pm by Robert Klien

The maximum amount a Seychellois family can get as usual house loan has been increased from R250,000 to R300,000. As to Home Improvement Loans, the upper limit has also been raised from R25,000 to R50,000.

These changes to loans available from the Housing Finance Company (HFC) were announced on October 23, 2006 by the Minister for Land Use and Habitat, Joel Morgan. The changes come into effect immediately.

The adjustments were necessary because of the increased costs of construction materials and labour as normal loans are meant to be affordable to the average families in Seychelles and payable during 23 years, attracting only 7% interest. However, Loans beyond R300,000 will  attract 10% interest as far as they are given to families with family monthly incomes beyond the average.

It is also worth mentioning that in the view of the major economic benefits Seychelles is getting from investments on reclaimed land, the Seychelles government is considering the reclamation of more land as it is running out of available land for economic activities on our reclaimed land. So, it is carrying out the study regarding the cost-benefit analysis, economic benefits and the available areas that can be used for reclamation.


Chinese and Seychellois president hold talks

Posted in International relations at 11:32 pm by Robert Klien

On November 2, 2006, Chinese President Hu Jintao held talks with Seychellois President James Alix Michel in Beijing.

It has already been discussed that Michel is paying a state visit to China and is going to attend the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation where Chinese representatives will announce a package of major assistance, investment and trade cooperation projects with Africa. It is also worth mentioning that China’s capital is ready for the Summit and already dressed up with traditional Chinese red lanterns and billboards featuring typical images of Africa and posters announcing “friendship, cooperation, development and peace” in English and French.

The leaders of both countries expressed their satisfaction about the development of bilateral relations and decided to deepen cooperation between the two states.

Diplomatic relations between China and Seychelles were established 30 years ago. Since then, friendly cooperation has been marked with smooth development, mutual understanding, fruitful cooperation and exchanges in many areas. At the meeting, Chinese President said that the China-Seychelles relation had become a successful instance of equal treatment and mutual assistance between big and small countries. Seychellois President, in his turn, thanked the  Chinese government and people for offering continual assistance to Seychelles.

Also, Hu said that the Chinese government would encourage enterprises to invest in Seychelles, and to expand exchanges and cooperation in the spheres of education, human resources, tourism and health. Michel reflected on China-Seychelles educational and cultural co-operation very positively and optimistically.


Seychellois President visits China

Posted in International relations at 10:31 am by Robert Klien

On November 1, 2006, Seychellois President James Alix Michel arrived in Beijing – this is the beginning of his state visit to China.

In Beijing the president will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao as well as will meet with top legislator Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao.

On November 4-5, 2006, Michel will attend the Beijing Summit of Forum on China-Africa Co-operation. The summit is organized by the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation, which is a platform established by China and friendly African countries for collective consultation and dialogue and a co-operation mechanism between the developing countries, which is used to be called South-South cooperation. It goes without saying that the summit is useful as it promotes both political dialogue and economic co-operation and trade, with a view to seeking mutual reinforcement and common development.

After the summit, Michel is going to visit Changsha, the capital of central China’s Hunan province, and Haikou, the capital of China’s southernmost Hainan province.

It is a well-known fact that Seychelles is one of outbound tourist destinations approved by China’s government. Also, bilateral trade has been growing rapidly (trade volume in 2005 totaled USD 3.41 million).