Seychelles’ President updates on progress and Seychelles2020 Vision

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles government, Seychelles infrastructure at 2:58 pm by Robert Klien

On January 23, 2012, President James Michel met members of the Seychelles2020 Presidential Commission with a view to discuss the progress of the projects showcased in the Seychelles2020 Expo in March 2011. It is worth noting that Seychelles2020 Presidential Commission was initially known as the National Project Monitoring Unit.

President Michel was briefed on the project implementation timeline and detailed plans for Ile Soleil and Ile Aurore in particular, as both projects are to start in 2012.

In June 2011, technical studies were made. They were followed by subdivision and demarcation of plots of land in October 2011 and an environment study in November 2011. Currently the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) Seychelles 2020 sales office is being planned for installation into an area of the National Library building in March 2012. In July 2012, its construction is expected to start and be completed in several phases by 2015.

The commission outlined the plans for financing of the housing and commercial projects. It should be noted that these are expected to attract 100% private sourcing. Also, it was announced that the infrastructure including roads, water, electricity, and sewerage would be built by a public limited company that will be established by the government soon.

The meeting of the Commission was attended by secretary of state in the President’s Office, Ambassador Barry Faure who chairs of the commission, principal secretary (PS) for Presidential Affairs Lise Bastienne, the PS for Land Use and Housing Christian Lionnet, chief executive of the Public Utilities Corporation Philip Morin, chief executive of the Seychelles Investment Bureau (SIB) Sherin Renaud, chief executive of the Planning Authority Gerard Hoareau, architect Alain Hazan from the private sector, director for Project Implementation in the Department of Land Use Yves Choppy, and SIB’s director of Investment Promotion and Facilitation Sabrina Agathine.

The Seychelles2020 Presidential Commission is mandated to liaise with all agencies and persons in the country, public or private, and facilitate broad cross-agency coordination, monitor implementation. Also, it is to keep the President and the cabinet of ministers informed of the progress of the projects.


IMF says Seychelles’ economic prospects are promising

Posted in Business and Economy, International Organisations at 6:51 pm by Robert Klien

As it has been said recently, the International Monetary Fund has released its report on Seychelles’ 4th programme review. In accordance with the review, the jurisdiction’s economic prospects are good. However, the report warns of risks from the crisis in Europe.

The Fund hails Seychelles’ performance with the IMF executive board’s deputy managing director and acting chair Min Zhu saying: “Aided by sound macroeconomic policies and timely structural reforms, the Seychelles economy rebounded strongly from the crisis of 2008-09. Medium-term prospects are good, but downside risks exist due to the crisis in Europe. Inflation has picked up recently, reflecting the delayed pass-through of global food and fuel price increases, but remains broadly in check.”

He noted that “safeguarding debt sustainability is critical for sustaining the gains from macroeconomic stabilization”. Also, he mentioned that “the restructuring of the loss-making national airline and increases in utility tariffs to cost-recovery levels will help achieve a sounder fiscal position while creating space for needed infrastructure investments”. So, developing a well-targeted social safety net will be vital to protect vulnerable groups.

According to Min Zhu, “Structural reforms continue to focus on improving public financial management and fostering private sector-led growth. In the financial sector, efforts should focus on limiting the role of state-owned institutions, strengthening competition, enhancing governance and transparency, and improving banking intermediation.”


Seychelles’ National Economic Council meets

Posted in Business and Economy, Foreign investments, Seychelles government at 6:48 pm by Robert Klien

On January 12, President James Michel chaired the 1st session of the National Economic Council that was established in December. The President said that it is the priority of his government to ensure that Seychelles continues on a path of economic growth that fairly benefits its population.

He said: “This is a goal that we must never lose sight of. Our economic cake must not only be bigger, but we must also ensure it is shared fairly”.

At the same time, he emphasized the need to stimulate more business activity and get more Seychellois involved in entrepreneurship. This can be done by making more credit available to them and on easier terms, so the banks would be playing an essential role. According to Michel, “the banks have to be proactive and reach out to all entrepreneurs, big and small.”

Mr Michel also said that it is necessary to go on encouraging foreign direct investment (FDI) in the jurisdiction. He said: “It is crucial to stimulating growth in all sectors. As crucial FDI is to our survival in a fiercely competitive and globalised world, we must not neglect investment in our country by Seychellois for Seychellois.”

He added: “We must do everything possible to encourage and promote investment and re-investment by Seychellois entrepreneurs. This includes creating the enabling environment, putting the right policies in place, empowering our entrepreneurs, removing all obstacles and hurdles in their way”.

Mr Michel noted that the jurisdiction’s economic development must take account of its specificities.
“We need an economy that reflects our democratic principles of social justice, and not one based on technical considerations alone. We need an economy that empowers and benefits our people and puts their interests first. My Government will continue to improve the policy framework that will enable all economic actors to feed the engines of productivity and economic growth.”


IMF approves 4th review and releases USD 4.8 million

Posted in Business and Economy, International Organisations, Seychelles banking, Tourism industry at 6:46 pm by Robert Klien

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the 4th review of the Seychelles Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and will release USD 4.8 million. This was announced by Central Bank governor Pierre Laporte and principal secretary for Finance Ahmed Afif in a press conference held on January 12.

It was said that the IMF board is satisfied with the review carried out by its staff in November 2011 as “Seychelles has met all the benchmarks of its economic review programme under the EFF”.

According to Laporte and Afif, the IMF board has expressed concern about the potential impact on the tourism sector because of what is happening in Europe, which is the jurisdiction’s main tourism market, as well as because Air Seychelles has stopped direct flights to Europe.

In March 2012, the IMF mission is expected to return for the 5th review under the programme and then Seychelles is planning to have met set targets.