Record tourist arrivals expected in Seychelles in 2010

Posted in Tourism industry at 11:59 am by Robert Klien

According to the Seychelles Tourism National Council, the jurisdiction is expecting record tourist arrivals in 2010.

The marketing officer of the council, Alain St Ange, said that the number of arrivals for the 1st 4 months of 2010 represents a 13% growth over 2009 and a 1% growth over 2008. It is worth noting that in 2008 Seychelles registered the highest number of visitors.

The good performance of the tourism industry reflects that this economic sphere of the jurisdiction has resisted shocks of global economic recession and the recent threat to air transport by the Iceland volcanic ash.

St Ange explained such a good performance by the new tourism policy that is based on public-private partnership and the strategy of diversification of the source market. He claimed that the new tourism policy was a win-win strategy – this is where the state regulates the industry while the private sector drives the industry. Also, he stated that the Seychelles had succeeded to get farther from its dependence on the traditional European market.

The strategy has attracted such countries as South Africa, which has already become the 6th source market for the Seychelles. The South African market has the potential to exceed the number of arrivals twice as the Seychelles is a hub for visitors from other countries, especially those from the US, as well as from the Reunion, Kenya, India and China.


IMF says Seychelles’ Economy is resilient to shocks

Posted in International Organisations, International relations, Seychelles government at 2:28 pm by Robert Klien

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the economy of Seychelles has shown strong resilience to global financial shocks of the year 2009. The IMF said that the jurisdiction’s economy is recovering faster than expected from measures taken to adjust it.

The above-mentioned conclusions are the key findings of an International Monetary Fund mission in Seychelles since May 4. The IMF has already completed mission’s 1st review under the Extended Fund Facility. The mission is headed by Jean Le Dem.

The success of the review of the mission was announced during a press conference that was held at the Central Bank on May 17. The conference was attended by Minister for Finance Danny Faure, his principal secretary Ahmed Afif and the head of division, policy, market operations and statistics Caroline Abel.

Mr Le Dem described the discussions as successful. He said that all quantitative performance criteria as of the end of March 2010 have been met and structural measures programmed to end in April 2010 have been carried out, as well as policies for the rest of the year 2010 have been agreed with the government.

In his statement, Le Dem highlighted some of the findings of the IMF mission:
– the macro-economic situation has improved; the economy has shown strong resilience and flexibility to the shocks in 2009 and is recovering more quickly than initially expected from adjustment policies;
– economic activities have been maintained overall in 2009, notably in the tourism sector, due to an aggressive price policy which has made it possible to maintain hotel occupancy rates and employment in that sector;
– the exchange rate has stabilised on average against the main currencies since the beginning of the year 2010 and the external position is strengthening, with international reserves already covering 2 months of imports.

Le Dem also stated that the assessment of government revenue projections for 2010 that was discussed during the mission provides room for a more rapid path towards fiscal sustainability. Seychelles’ monetary policy has been loosened, while key interest rates like treasury bill rates have been reduced to lower levels. Measures to promote private sector development have been good, especially on tax reforms, public finance management, reorganisation of Central Bank operations, financial sector supervision and public enterprise reform.

He stressed the 2 major areas that are crucial to the reform programme – the tax system and private sector development.

The 2nd review mission is expected in October 2010.

Seychelles’ Minister for Finance Danny Faure suggested that the mission’s findings are encouraging and are good for our reform programme. He expressed his hopes that this will result in the last stage of debt cancellation.


CPA head visits Seychelles to talk to parliamentarians

Posted in International Organisations at 5:28 pm by Robert Klien

Last weekend, the secretary-general of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) (http://www.cpahq.org/cpahq/mem/default.aspx) visited Seychelles as part of official visits to branches in the Africa region.

Dr William Shija was met the National Assembly’s deputy speaker Wilby Lucas. During his 2-day stay, he visited the Seychelles branch of the CPA, with its president – the assembly speaker Dr Patrick Herminie. Also, he attended the branch’s executive committee meeting at the assembly, to be co-chaired by the vice-presidents, Marie-Louise Potter and Wavel Ramkalawan.

Active CPA branches are found in 175 national, state, provincial and territorial parliaments with a total of around 17 000 parliamentarians. The Seychelles branch became a member of the CPA in 1995. From 2003 to 2007 its membership was suspended until its fee settlement in 2008.


Seychelles launches Media Association

Posted in Business and Economy at 12:06 pm by Robert Klien

A new body has been launched in Seychelles to group individuals from the media fields.

On May 7, the Seychelles Media Association was launched during a meeting that was chaired by managing director of the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation Antoine Onezime. The association is to join together people who work in the field of journalism, creative media, photography, online media and technical media fields. The new body is expected to promote professional journalism.

At the end of the meeting, those who attended the event had the possibility to register as members of the association.

An executive committee will be elected soon. The constitution of the Seychelles Media Association is still a draft but it is expected to be finalised. A copy of the draft constitution will be sent to all media houses and registered members to make amendments if needed.


Indo-Seychelles Joint Commission meeting to further cooperation

Posted in International relations, Seychelles government at 12:06 pm by Robert Klien

On May 10, 2010, the 7th meeting of the Indo-Seychelles Joint Commission meeting was held to open a new stage of cooperation between Seychelles and India. The meeting opened at the Maison Queau de Quinssy at Mont Fleuri.

Ambassador Barry Faure is leading Seychelles’ delegation. He said that the 2-day meeting will cover a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues.

The 1st session of the event was attended by representatives of all Seychelles’ sectors and government ministries. India’s delegation was led by Vivek Katju. It also included secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs of India, ambassador Gurjit Singh, joint secretary (East and Southern Africa), in the same ministry, and Asit Kumar Nag, the Indian high commissioner in Seychelles. Seychelles’ high commissioner to India Dick Esparon was also present at the meeting.

Faure said: “Although the last session of our joint commission was held seven years ago, I am happy to note that a number of activities have successfully been undertaken, a sign of the mature relationship existing between our two countries”. He thanked the Indian government and people for their significant contribution in the development of Seychelles and for moving forward closer relationship between Seychelles and India. He added: “We have immensely benefited under the demand-driven and response-oriented ITEC Programme which is being well utilised by Seychelles to elevate the level of cooperation between our two countries”.


Seychelles and Bahrain sign DTA

Posted in Bilateral Treaties, Double Taxation Agreements, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction at 11:05 am by Robert Klien

During a recent visit to the USA, the Seychelles’ Minister of Finance, Danny Faure, and Bahrain’s Minister of Finance, Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, signed an agreement for double taxation avoidance (DTA) between the jurisdictions.

The new agreement is a reciprocal arrangement between the Seychelles and Bahrain not to tax the repatriated income that an individual or corporate resident of one jurisdiction has earned in another one and which has already been taxed.

The new document applies to taxes on income and capital imposed in the Seychelles and Bahrain, irrespective of the way in which they are levied. It includes capital gains taxes on real estate and company shares and taxes on income.


Vice-President opens health forum for SADC ministers

Posted in International Organisations, Seychelles government at 11:11 am by Robert Klien

When opening the joint meeting for health, HIV and Aids ministers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region at the International Conference Centre, Seychelles’ Vice-President Joseph Belmont said: “All the human and material resources that we have must be deployed not just to fight, but to fight and win the war on the many diseases affecting the southern African region”.

The official opening ceremony of the 2-day forum was attended by the presence of the National Assembly Speaker Patrick Herminie, the SADC chairperson Dr Victor Makwenge-Kaput, who is also the Democratic Republic of Congo Health Minister, the Seychelles Minister for Health and Social Development Marie-Pierre Lloyd and diplomatic members.

Belmont said that the Southern African region has become peaceful, war-region free, however, yet there is a relentless war with many diseases and socio-economic scourges that trouble the progress. The meeting was aimed at strengthening the health systems and addressing the social determinants of health.