Russian anti-submarine warship visit signifies Russia-Seychelles ties

Posted in International relations at 3:51 pm by Robert Klien

Recently, goodwill visit was made by a Russian anti-submarine warship that coincided with the Carnaval International de Victoria. According to ambassador Mikhail Kalinin, this visit was a sign of the strong relations between Russia and Seychelles.

On March 19, during the carnival, the warship was open to the public, which was only the 2nd time a Russian warship had called in Port Victoria port since October 2009.

Bilateral talks between Kalinin and Vice-President Danny Faure focused on the ways to further boost relations between Russia and Seychelles. Kalinin said: “Ways to strengthen naval and military ties between the two countries were also discussed, and it was agreed that a Russian military attaché will be accredited here soon”.


Seychelles to participate in Vanilla Islands promotion in Germany

Posted in International relations, Tourism industry at 1:53 pm by Robert Klien

Tourism board heads from Seychelles, Mauritius, La Réunion and Madagascar have held a meeting with German tour operators in order to discuss the concept of the Vanilla Islands.

The Vanilla Islands is an affiliation of Seychelles, Mauritius, La Réunion and Madagascar in the Indian Ocean aimed to form a new travel destination brand. The project is aimed at the co-operation founded on August 4, 2010 at La Réunion to join forces and market the region, which should be more efficient than the solely individual marketing of each island in the past.

The meeting was held during the ITB trade fair in Berlin and was attended by Seychelles Tourism Board chief executive Alain St Ange, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority director Dr Karl Mootoosamy, Ile de la Réunion Tourisme director Pascal Viroleau and Madagascar Tourist Office president Joel Randriamandranto.

As a result, a decision was made to launch the following activities to move the Vanilla Islands concept forward:
– to plan packages for the Vanilla Islands in collaboration with airlines flying between the islands – Air Mauritius, Air Seychelles, Air Madagascar, Air Austral, Air France and Corsairfly;
– to organise press trips to visit 2 or 3 islands in the group during April;
– to organise a Vanilla Islands roadshow in 3 or 4 German cities during May;
– to make a plan to train travel agents;
– to develop a website for the islands.


Seychelles’ Government to speed up bank transfers

Posted in Seychelles banking, Seychelles government at 3:44 pm by Robert Klien

The government of Seychelles has announced its intention to speed up the system of payments for goods and services by transferring the money it owes directly into suppliers’ bank accounts.

This move will be carried out by the government through the Ministry of Finance and in collaboration with the Central Bank of Seychelles. The introduction of the new method is part of its plan to modernise and improve on service delivery.

The new method is planned to be in operation by June 1. This move will do away with government cheques and their 3-day clearing process, as well as abolish the weekly payment schedule. With the new system in place, creditors will not have to queue at the Treasury in order to collect payments and remittance advices. It will apply to contractors, suppliers, businesses and individuals for services rendered or goods sold to a particular ministry, department or budget-dependent agency.


Seychelles to get Stock Exchange

Posted in Business and Economy, Financial Services, SIBA at 1:24 pm by Robert Klien

This year, the financial system of the Seychelles, which currently is bank-based, is to get a boost as a stock exchange will be opened in the jurisdiction.

Chief executive officer of the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA), Steve Fanny, said that SIBA is responsible for setting up the stock exchange and the Seychelles Stock Exchange will start operating in 2011.

Many Seychelles’ companies as well as big hotels will qualify to be listed on the Exchange.


Seychelles’ anti-piracy measures

Posted in International relations at 11:54 am by Robert Klien

India has sent a Dornier 228 maritime reconnaissance aircraft to Seychelles with a view to help to deal with Somali pirates.

This aircraft will be available in Seychelles for at least 2 years. In 2010, India offered to give Seychelles a Dornier 228 and 2 Chetak helicopters for anti-piracy duty, but Seychelles preferred India to simply operate this equipment on their territory until piracy threat is gone. A naval patrol boat and one Chetak helicopter have already been sent to Seychelles for anti-piracy patrol.

A court in Seychelles sentenced 10 convicted Somali pirates to 20 years in prison. This group of 10 pirates seized a 33-foot fishing vessel with 7 Seychellois crew members in November 2010. One pirate was killed in the rescue mission.

Seychelles’ Minister for Home Affairs, Environment and Transport Joel Morgan said: “The sentences will send a strong message to other pirates on the high seas that we have the capacity to capture, prosecute and jail criminals at sea who threaten our key fisheries and tourism industries”.

It is worth noting that Seychelles is one of several countries in the region conducting trials or intending to try pirates, while Somalia lacks the legal infrastructure.


President James Michel gives his state-of-the-nation address

Posted in Seychelles government at 12:12 pm by Robert Klien

On February 25, Seychelles’ President James Michel gave his his state-of-the-nation address.

He emphasized the fact that Seychelles’ successes are noticeable by the world and announced that the jurisdiction’s economic growth for 2010 was 6.2%, which surpassed the IMF forecast of 4%.

President James Michel noted that, with 47% of the territory designated as nature reserves, Seychelles is 1st in the world in conservation and environmental management. He also said that 3 missions were conducted to rescue those who had been taken hostage by Somali pirates. President mentioned that 5 tankers are flying Seychelles’ flag all over the world, which is great for a small country of 89 000 inhabitants that is developing its oil exploration industry.

As regards land ownership and future investment, Michel announced that the Seychelles EXPO 2020 exhibition will be the launch pad for his government’s vision of the future 10 years of development, including the opportunity for Seychellois entrepreneurs to invest in 5 reclaimed island projects, where 3 will be opportunities for 400 units for shops, restaurants, workshops for small businesses and new offices, up to 8 hotels and many small guesthouses.

As of March 1, income tax will not apply to gratuity payments that are less than R10,000, which applies to all Seychellois workers.

President announced that the government will be selling 40% of its Seychelles Savings Bank shares to clients and employees of the bank who would like to own shares, starting on April 15 this year.


Seychelles’ Presidential Elections to be held in May

Posted in Seychelles government at 12:00 pm by Robert Klien

According to an election commissioner Hendrick Gappy, on May 19-21, the Seychelles archipelago will hold presidential elections.

The outer isles of the 115-island country will vote on May 19 and May 20, while the main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue will vote on May 20. .

On April 27, nominations for candidates will be held. Campaigning will be carried out for 18 days starting from April 28.