Pakistan to strengthen ties with Seychelles

Posted in International relations, Seychelles government at 12:41 pm by Robert Klien

The new Pakistani ambassador to Seychelles has said that he is looking forward to further enhance relations between Pakistan and Seychelles.

On July 13, Pakistani ambassador Muhammad Siddique presented his credentials to Seychelles’ President James Michel. Also, he met with Vice-President Danny Faure at State House. On July 14, he called on the Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Herminie.

After his accreditation visit, Siddique described the cooperation between the 2 countries as very friendly. He also said that the possibilities for further agreements on trade, tourism, education, health and fisheries were discussed during the meeting.


Indian Defence Minister visits Seychelles

Posted in International relations, Seychelles government at 12:29 pm by Robert Klien

With a view to further strengthen the bilateral defence ties as well as to increase cooperation in anti-piracy operations, India’s Defence Minister A K Antony visited Seychelles.

The 2-day visit day to Seychelles started on July 18.

On his visit, Indian Defence Minister was accompanied by Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral D K Dewan.

The Defence Minister held discussions with the Seychelles leadership on bilateral defence cooperation and implementation of the provisions of the defence cooperation Memorandum of Understanding between Seychelles and India. Also, the 2 sides discussed various security issues that included the security situation in the Indian Ocean region and the spread of piracy in and from the Gulf of Aden.


Seychelles Insurance increases 50% because of Piracy

Posted in Seychelles government, Seychelles' statistics at 12:28 pm by Robert Klien

On July 12, Seychellois President James Michel said that piracy in the Indian Ocean has affected insurance costs. Because of piracy threats, insurance costs in Seychelles soared, which decreased ports and fishery revenue.

President said: “Insurance costs have ballooned by 50%. Port and fisheries receipts have declined by 30%”. He also added that while trade levels go down, “anarchy is being exported across our region”.

According to Michel, piracy caused the loss of 4% of the Seychelles’ GDP in 2009.


Seychelles and Mauritius to share seabed zone

Posted in International relations at 7:49 pm by Robert Klien

On July 11, 2010, members of a joint management committee from Seychelles and Mauritius had a meeting aimed to discuss the administrative aspects of the eventual sharing of an extended seabed which is part of the Mascarene Plateau.

This meeting is the 2nd of its kind. It was visited by the head of the Seychelles delegation Dr Rolph Payet and the head of the Mauritian delegation Suresh Seeballuck.

Seychelles and Mauritius prepared to present their defence in August 2010 to the United Nations Commission for the joint management of this 400 000 km squares extended continental shelf (ECS).


Seychelles Consumer Prices show a 3.6% decline

Posted in Seychelles' statistics at 7:48 pm by Robert Klien

In July 2010, Seychelles’ National Statistics Bureau published consumer price statistics.

According to the published data, consumer prices in Seychelles fell 3.6% in June 2010 as compared with June 2009. The All Items CPI in June 2010 stood at 180.7 compared to 187.4 a year ago.

The Consumer Price Index or CPI is an index or tool used to measure price changes in goods and services with reference to a base period for which the index is set to equal 100. An increase or a decrease in this index reflects an increase or decrease in the price of the good or service compared to the price in the base period. It should be noted that rapid increases in the index reveal that the market structure is changing. The movement in index from period to period can be expressed as a percentage change or changes in index points.


WTO delegation visits Seychelles

Posted in International Organisations, International relations, Seychelles government at 10:54 am by Robert Klien

On July 5, a delegation from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) met Vice-President and Minister for Finance and Trade Danny Faure and other high government officials.

On July 6, the WTO delegation held talks with Seychelles’ President James Michel at State House.

On July 7, the delegation met assembly speaker Dr Patrick Herminie and members of its international affairs committee.

The WTO delegation was headed by Hilda Al-Hinai, the chairperson of Seychelles’ WTO accession working party and Oman’s deputy ambassador at the world trade body. She came to have discussions with various stakeholders. The delegation was accompanied by Seychelles’ ambassador to the European Union Vivianne Fock-Tave and our chief negotiator for the WTO accession, Charles Morin.

Ms Al-Hinai said that the talks have shown a very high level of commitment from the government of Seychelles towards its accession to the WTO, and she believes that this will move things forward.

It is worth mentioning that the jurisdiction restarted the process of joining the WTO in 2008.


Seychelles’ President holds talks with Indian Minister

Posted in International relations, Seychelles government at 10:53 am by Robert Klien

On July 6, Seychelles’ President James Michel met Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna in order to hold talks on bilateral cooperation over security and economic development.

After the meeting that was held during Mr Krishna’s 1-day working visit to Seychelles, Mr Michel said that it was a good opportunity to discuss Seychelles’ and India’s shared security interests in the Indian Ocean, particularly the joint military efforts and cooperation in anti-piracy. Michel added that India had provided invaluable support in this spheres, and the two countries will co-operate to continue building a sound programme of collaboration.

Indian minister assured Seychelles’ president of India’s full support for the jurisdiction in the anti-piracy effort. Mr Krishna noted that further steps will be taken with a view to strengthen the partnership.

Mr Michel said that his successful state visit to India held in June had renewed the interest of Seychellois people in travelling to India and doing business there. The visit by Mr Krishna is an indication of the active partnership of the 2 countries.

After talks between Mr Michel and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held in New Delhi during the visit in June, India pledged USD 5 million worth of defence aid to Seychelles for the anti-piracy effort.

It was announced by India that it would write off 45% of Seychelles’ debt owed to the Indian government as well as reschedule the rest over a 20-year period with the interest rates halved, which is part of the “Paris Club formula” approach. Also, the government of India will also write off a USD 1.375 million debt that Seychelles owes on a commercial loan with the Exim Bank (Export Import) of India.

India has pledged to the Development Bank of Seychelles a USD 10 million line of credit on concessionary terms. This was discussed during the 7th Indo-Seychelles Commission meeting that took place in May. It should be noted that a bilateral investment protection and promotion agreement was signed then.


IMF releases USD 3.3 million after economic reform appraisal

Posted in Business and Economy, International Organisations, Seychelles government at 11:08 am by Robert Klien

Seychelles’ economic reform programme has been praised and it received a major boost in front of week’s Paris Club meeting of international lenders.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) made issued a press release to praise the ongoing results of the economic programme. The IMF said that Seychelles’ economic policies “continue to be anchored by prudent fiscal policies”.

As a result of this, the jurisdiction qualifies for another installment of USD 3.3 million as part of the 3-year Extended Fund Facility arrangement (EFF). This announcement was made after the IMF’s executive board completed the 1st review of Seychelles’ economic performance, bringing the total amount of disbursements under the EFF to USD 7.8 million.

According to the IMF, the economy of Seychelles has proved remarkably resilient to the recently-experienced double crisis. The IMF said: “Following a turnaround in its economic policies to address an external debt crisis and a global financial crisis in 2008, the country appears to have emerged from the recession”. It was added that real gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.7% in 2009, and growth is projected to recover further to 4% in 2010.

In accordance with the press release, Seychelles’ government revenue is exceeding expectations in 2010. It said: “The authorities have also strengthened public finance and central bank management and are starting to address the restructuring of several key public enterprises and financial institutions, with a view to reducing the risks to the government budget and fostering sustained private sector-led growth.”


Seychelles President’s new team takes oath

Posted in Seychelles government at 10:58 am by Robert Klien

On July 1, 2010, former Designated Minister Danny Faure took his oath of office before Seychelles’ President to become Seychelles’ new Vice-President.

Faure took the Vice-Presidential oath as well as pledged his allegiance to the Constitution of Seychelles. It should be noted that Faure is also the Minister for Finance and Trade, Public Administration and Information Communication Technology.

Designated Minister Vincent Meriton sworn in as minister received his Instructions of Appointment to the post from President Michel. He is also the Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sport.

The oath ceremony was visited by Vice-President Faure’s family, the speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Herminie, chief justice Frederick Egonda-Ntende, president of the Court of Appeal Francis MacGregor and cabinet ministers, as well as the chief of defence forces Brigadier Leopold Payet, former Vice-President Joseph Belmont, attorney-general Ronny Govinden, secretary of state for cabinet affairs Mohamed Afif, secretary of state in the President’s Office Barry Faure, police commissioner Ernest Quatre and principal secretaries.