1st Meeting of the COMESA Ministerial Sub-committee on EPA

Posted in Business and Economy, International Organisations, International relations, Seychelles government at 12:22 pm by Robert Klien

The First Meeting of the Special COMESA Ministerial Sub-committee on Economic Partnership Agreement held on February 10, 2008 in Lusaka, Zambia, was attended by the Seychelles Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Patrick Pillay. At the meeting, he was accompanied by his Special Adviser, Miss Vivianne Fock-Tave. Director General for Trade in the Ministry of Finance and Trade, Mr Charles Morin, also attended the meeting of COMESA Ministerial Sub-committee.

The Ministerial Sub-committee was established during the COMESA Council of Ministers in November 2007. It consists of Ministers who are responsible for the negotiation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) from Seychelles, Mauritius, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia, Djibouti and Zimbabwe – 8 of the 16 countries that form the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) configuration, which are also member countries of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

The Ministerial Sub-committee primarily aims at overseeing the EPA negotiation process in order to ensure the progress in line with set negotiation objectives and agreed guidelines. Therefore the Sub-committee takes account of developments in the process on a regular basis and provides political advice and guidance on any issues contributing to the successful conclusion of the ESA negotiations. It also is worth noting that the Ministerial Sub-committee is a key-role player in working towards narrowing any substantial differences in the region.

At the 1st meeting in Zambia, the Sub-Committee discussed implementing the Interim Agreement and the need to convene a joint COMESA-SADC-EAC (East African Community) Meeting of Ministers responsible for Economic Partnership Agreements. Also, the negotiating structure of the ESA configuration was reviewed at the meeting in order to ensure that the EPA negotiations are both effective and efficient.

Besides the First Meeting of the Special COMESA Ministerial Sub-committee on Economic Partnership Agreement, Minister Pillay participated in the Ministerial Task Force on the COMESA Customs Union held in Lusaka, Zambia, on February 11, 2008.

It is expected that the COMESA Customs Union will be launched in December 2008.


Foreign Affairs Ministry publishes Assessment of the State of Good Governance in Seychelles

Posted in International Organisations, Seychelles government at 1:08 am by Robert Klien

Last month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles published in a press release named “Assessment of the State of Good Governance in Seychelles”.

According to the release, a validation workshop for the draft 2007 Report, “Assessing the State of Good Governance in the Republic of Seychelles” was organized on February 18, 2008 at the International Conference Centre, Victoria. The workshop was aimed at public, private and NGO stakeholders to collectively validate the report and after that it would be submitted to the UNECA.

The workshop concluded Phase II of the UNECA Project “Monitoring and Measuring Progress Towards Good Governance in Africa” launched in Seychelles in April 2007. Phase II included an update of the state of governance of the 27 countries (including South Africa, Mauritius, Egypt, etc.) that took part in Phase I.

The release informed the public that the exercise has been carried out by a Mauritian-based consultancy firm StraConsult with the assistance of local professionals. According to the results of an independent survey conducted by StraConsult, in terms of good governance Seychelles is at the very top in Africa.

It was also emphasized in the press release that “Assessing the State of Good Governance in the Republic of Seychelles” will be a background document to the forthcoming UNECA report – the 2007 African Governance Report.


SIBA publishes Calendar of Promotional Events 2008

Posted in Offshore Services, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction, SIBA at 10:50 am by Robert Klien

The Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA) has lately published the Calendar of Promotional Events for 2008 to cover all the events in which the Authority will definitely participate and in which it will probably participate.

It has already been discussed previously that the Authority is is active in promoting Seychelles offshore business, and so in atumn 2007 the SIBA sponsored two important events in offshore community. This year it will sponsor the Shorex Wealth Management Forum to be held in Moscow, Russia. The forum is scheduled for October 24-26, 2008.

In 2008, the Seychelles will take part in two important events by Asia Offshore Association (AOA) aimed at promoting various offshore products. The 1st event will be held on March 16-18 (so, it starts tomorrow) and the 2nd on September 21-23, 2008.

The dates of two events as well as SIBA participation in them are still to be announced and the programmes are still to be confirmed. These are possible Roadshow in Seychelles to be possibly held in May and possible Roadshow in China to be possibly held in September.


EU to sign short stay visa waiver agreement with Seychelles

Posted in International relations at 10:47 am by Robert Klien

On February 15, 2008, the European Commission took the 1st step to sign short stay visa waiver agreements between the European Community and six other countries including Seychelles. The other countries to sign the agreements with the European Commission are the Bahamas, Barbados, Mauritius, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis.

The recommendations to authorise the European Commission to start negotiations will be submitted to the European Council.

Vice-President Franco Frattini, Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security, explained that the negotiations on the visa waiver with Seychelles and the other 5 countries need to be opened when the negotiating directives will be approved by the Council, and the full implementation of the existing legal framework will be available.


Development Bank of Seychelles marks 30th anniversary

Posted in Seychelles banking, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction at 6:00 am by Robert Klien

In the middle of February, the Development Bank of Seychelles (DBS), a joint venture between the Government of Seychelles and financial organizations (Agence Française de Development, European Investment Bank, DEG, Nouvobanq) that was created in 1977 and started its operations at the Supreme Court building in February 1978, was celebrating its 30th anniversary with a series of activities.

DBS hosted a 3-day exhibition at its offices along Independence Avenue starting from February 12.

According to Mary de Comarmond, a spokesperson for DBS, the bank hoped to showcase its progress. To do this, it highlighted some of the main projects it has financed.

To mark the anniversary, the Development Bank of Seychelles contributed 2 sponsored articles on some of the bank’s achievements that appeared in the Seychelles Weekend Nation on February 16.

The bank started off by granting 108 loans in 1978. It has grown to the extent that in 2007 alone, it funded more than 270 projects giving priority to viable projects contributing to the improvement of Seychelles’ sustainable economic development.