SIB to improve business environment

Posted in Business and Economy, Foreign investments at 1:36 pm by Robert Klien

The Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) aimed to stimulate economic development, to expand and escalate growth through effective investment promotion plans acknowledges that the Seychelles business environment should be further enhanced with a view to facilitate processes for businesses to go through during the business cycle.

The Board suggests that the improvement process will require dialogues and participation of both the private and public sectors. It foresees that a complete and effective transformation of the business environment will take a few months of dedicated hard work and cohesive approach. SIB is convinced that support structures should be put in place to ensure that the process not only makes it easy for the business community but will also allow government institutions to continuously monitor the business processes as well as maintain records on business development.

The above-mentioned commitment was reinforced during the Seychelles Investment forum held on July 20-21, 2011.


Seychelles’ tourism operators discuss ways to attract more visitors from South Africa

Posted in Tourism industry at 1:36 pm by Robert Klien

On October 17, key tourism operators came together to discuss ways to increase numbers of visitor arrivals from South Africa.

The meeting was conducted by the general sales agent (GSA) of Air Seychelles in South Africa, Deon Fremantle, who was accompanied by some top tour operators that sell Seychelles as a tourist destination. The event was attended by the chairman of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA), Louis d’Offay.

The participants were informed that while an average 7 000 South African visitors came to Seychelles in 2010, Mauritius, the jurisdiction’s main competitor, received more than 81 000 tourists. The 2011 arrival figures to date compared to 2010 reflect a stagnation, however, in Mauritius this was up by 10%.

As to other competitors, Mozambique, Zanzibar, the Maldives and Thailand are offering similar products at significantly lower prices. Around 100 000 South Africans travel to Thailand a year. Visitor number to Maldives is just a few thousand, but it is growing by 35% since 2010.

Mr D’Offay said that it is necessary to clarify certain matters and learn more about the specificities of the South African market.

The South African tour operators present said that it is far easier to sell other countries, especially Mauritius and the Maldives. According to them, not only are hotels more expensive in Seychelles, but even rates of Air Seychelles are prohibitive. It costs more to fly from Johannesburg to Seychelles, than to the Maldives, much further away.


IMF team updates Seychelles’ President on reform progress

Posted in Business and Economy, International Organisations, Seychelles government at 2:59 pm by Robert Klien

On October 17, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by its head to Seychelles, Jean Le Dem, visited President James Michel to appraise him on how they find the economic reform going. Also, Vice-President Danny Faure, who is also the Minister for Finance, Central Bank Governor Pierre Laporte and principal secretary for Finance and Trade Ahmed Afif were present during the meeting.

Mr Le Dem said that the programme’s performance was good and the jurisdiction has met all the quantitative criteria as at the end of June 2011. He said that the Fund will next review the structural reform programme and see where it is necessary to accelerate the programme. Also, it will discuss Seychelles Budget 2012 including the situation with Air Seychelles.

Mr Le Dem noted: “We also discussed the inflation issue which has risen a little to 3.3% in September and the chances for price increases but also how this can be mitigated through the social welfare agency”. He stated that the reforms have stabilised the economy of the offshore jurisdiction as well as stressed that it is needed to ensure the private sector continues to grow in order to support the economy.


Seychelles and Guernsey to sign TIEAs

Posted in International Organisations, International relations, Seychelles government at 2:52 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles and Guernsey are to sign a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA).

Guernsey has announced that it will conclude 6 bilateral Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) negotiated with members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), in line with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) priority of working closely on tax issues with developing countries. The tax treaty between Guernsey will be signed. Also, Guernsey is to sign the agreements on sharing tax information with Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and Zambia.

Ron van der Merwe, Chair of the Tax Agreements Working Group of the SADC, said: “The multi-party TIEA negotiations between 6 SADC member states and Guernsey is considered to be a major step forward in creating a basis for exchange of information for SADC members. This was a first opportunity for SADC and it is hoped that it will be the start of an ongoing programme in the negotiation of TIEAs by member states.”