Seychelles’ Vice President visits Oman to talk about piracy

Posted in Diplomatic missions, International relations at 7:04 pm by Robert Klien

In mid-January, Seychelles’ Vice President Danny Faure made an official visit to Oman. The threat that piracy poses to sea trade was one of the most significant issues on the agenda.

Faure was accompanied by Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adam and director general for trade Melanie Stravens. During the 2-day visit, he had talks with Omani Deputy Prime Minister Fahd bin Mahmud al-Said.

According to the Office of the Vice-President, Oman and Seychelles have enjoyed long-standing diplomatic relations, and now the 2 jurisdictions are expanding their trade relations.

It should be reminded that Seychelles has bilateral agreements with Oman for air services and double taxation avoidance (DTA). Also, the 2 countries have agreements for the tourism and fisheries sectors signed in 2002 and 2010. A memorandum of understanding has been negotiated by the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry with its Omani counterparts, and it is to be signed soon.


UN report says Seychelles’ elderly enjoy comfort and dignity

Posted in International Organisations, Seychelles infrastructure at 5:14 pm by Robert Klien

According to the 2nd African Governance Report (AGR) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca), the elderly in Seychelles spend the rest of their days in comfort and dignity.

The report urges other African countries to follow Seychelles’ example as regards looking after senior people.

Copies of the report were distributed among delegates who attended the launch of the 3rd AGR at the Seychelles Trading Company’s conference room held on January 14.

The report says: “Social policies geared towards the elderly ensure those who are independent have self-catering facilities provided by government in district homes”.

It stated that, in this regard, Seychelles has a policy for the elderly that should be emulated by others”. In most African countries, the quality, affordability and access to social services are inadequate.

It was highlighted in the report that Seychelles is the only African country with free medical care.


Seychelles introduces electronic voting registration

Posted in Seychelles government at 4:32 pm by Robert Klien

In 2011, the Electoral Commissioner’s Office will register voters in larger districts electronically. A pilot system will be used by the registration officers to make the procedure easier and quicker.

Commissioner Hendrick Gappy expects an increase in the number of people registering to vote in this year’s election because of the new system. Voters will have to show a national identity card to the registration officer and they will receicve the necessary information from them. As a result, a certificate will be produced more quickly than with the manual system.

The election date has not been announced yet, but it should be before the end of May 2011.


NBS says inflation falls to 0.4% in Seychelles

Posted in Seychelles' statistics at 4:08 pm by Robert Klien

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Seychelles’ inflation fell to 0.4% year-on-year in December 2010 from 0.7% in November 2010.

This statistics was released by the NBS on January 7.

The National Bureau of Statistics said that the average rate of inflation in the 12 months to December 2010 was -2.4%, which is a result of the drops in the prices of fruit, meat and drinks. Also, decreases were recorded in the price of transport (-6.6%), recreation and culture (-6.4%) and miscellaneous goods and services (-1.0%).


IMF discusses Seychelles Fiscal Programme

Posted in International Organisations, Seychelles government, Seychelles legislation at 3:58 pm by Robert Klien

As a result of a substantial fiscal over-performance by the Seychelles in 2010 after 2 years of its stabilization programme, as well as taking into consideration a rapidly recovering economy on the tourist sector, has the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a report with its recommendations to the jurisdiction. In its report, the IMF staff recommended completion of the Seychelles’ 3-year funding facility.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the strong and continued fiscal adjustment has restored the prospect of sustained medium-term growth and debt sustainability for the jurisdiction. The government revenues have created fiscal space for extra discretionary spending, and debt reduction accelerated. It is expected now that revenues exceed original budget projections by more than 4% of GDP in 2010, which would reflect mainly tax collections on turnover and imports that are stronger than predicted.

In the IMF’s view, tax reforms and improvements in revenue administration and expenditure management have helped Seychelles to sustain its credibility of the fiscal adjustment. The reform of the tax system that was launched at the beginning of 2010 has been continued, and its base has been broadened.

It was pointed out by the International Monetary Fund that the government of Seychelles is implementing comprehensive tax reforms with a view to further rationalize the tax system as well as to harmonize rates across sectors. The personal income tax rate was reduced from 18.75% to 15%, effective October 1, which is 3 months ahead of schedule. From January 1, 2011, there is one harmonized rate of personal income tax for all employees in all sectors, with the increase from 10% in the personal income tax rate paid by expatriates.

Preparatory work is underway for replacing goods and services tax (GST) with a value-added tax (VAT) in 2012. In accordance with the government of Seychelles, introducing the VAT is aimed to improve integration in the economy, broaden the base, eliminate cascading, as well as increase efficiency and fairness.


Record for tourist arrivals registered in 2010

Posted in Seychelles' statistics, Tourism industry at 3:48 pm by Robert Klien

In 2010, Seychelles welcomed almost 175 000 tourists, which is another record for visitor arrivals.

This record is around 17 000 higher than in 2009. In 2009, as many as 157 541 tourists visited the jurisdiction.

According to Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) chief executive Alain St Ange, the number of tourists visiting rose sharply in 2010 as a result of teamwork by all stakeholders in the tourism industry. The increase may also be attributed to the hard work added to the STB’s marketing drive by Seychelles’ tourism ambassadors abroad.

However, St Ange noted that a rise in the number of visitors does not necessarily mean increased spending by them. This factor depends not on the STB but on the private sector. He stated that there is a need to maximise earnings from tourism.

A survey of visitors for the 3rd quarter of 2010 carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that, among the different items tourists spent money on, restaurants were the highest apart from hotel bills and other hotel expenses. They were followed by excursions and souvenirs.

70% of the visitors surveyed came via tour operators, most of them came from Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. With 13 nights on average Visitors from Germany stayed in Seychelles longest, followed by those from Switzerland (12.9) the United Kingdom (11).


Seychelles’ Vice-President stresses role of financial controllers

Posted in Seychelles government at 3:11 pm by Robert Klien

According to Vice-President and Minister for Finance Danny Faure, financial controllers, accountants and all others in charge of government spending play a key role where the country’s budget is concerned.

Faure was speaking at the meeting held by the Ministry of Finance with the officers at the beginning of each year.

Faure said that these gatherings are held with a view to let financial officers know that their work to ensure there is no over-spending is very significant. Also, he told them about new developments in their field of work.

When meeting in the Seychelles Trading Company’s conference room, Vice-President Faure and comptroller general Sitna Cesar signed the general warrant to disburse the new budget in January 2011.


Income tax reduced to 15%

Posted in Seychelles government, Seychelles legislation at 4:30 pm by Robert Klien

On July 1, 2010, the Income and Non-Monetary Benefits Tax Act 2010 became effective. It introduced a tax levied on both employees and employers.

For the period July 1 to September 30, 2010, all Seychellois employees were liable to an income tax rate of 18.75% on their gross pay. From October 1, the rate of income tax applicable on the total earnings of Seychellois employees was reduced from 18.75% to 15%. So, all Seychellois employees saw an increase of 3.75% in their salary from October onwards.

It should be noted that all the other applicable rates under the Act remain as follows:
– income tax for non-Seychellois employees – 10%;
– non-monetary benefits tax payable by an employer – 20%;
– domestic worker – R50;
– daycare worker – either R100 or 10% of total emolument, whichever is lower;
– an person employed by a farming company or a boat owner (as defined under the Agriculture and Fisheries Incentives Act 2005) – R100.