Tax Incentives to protect Seychelles’ Heritage

Posted in Seychelles infrastructure at 2:11 pm by Robert Klien

With a view to promote the Seychelles architectural heritage, the Government of the Seychelles is introducing new measures. These include tax incentives that would help businesses and private property owners repair and maintain buildings and houses of cultural value.

To encompass private as well as public buildings and houses, the new scheme will contain 3 components – tax, grants and planning incentives.

Under the Business Tax Act 2009, companies can benefit from 100% business tax relief for any donation or sponsorship to fund the preservation of heritage buildings that are channeled through the Seychelles Heritage Foundation.

Under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Tax, businesses can use their full CSR contribution towards repairs and maintenance of any building that has been identified as a building of heritage value.

The CSR Tax is payable at a rate of 0.5% by businesses with a turnover of SCR 1 million (USD 81,800) or more.

This new scheme is regarded as a milestone in terms of heritage conservation, since it is the first time the Seychelles government is providing financial support to private establishments in order to maintain buildings.


IMF says Seychelles economy to grow 3.7% in 2014

Posted in Business and Economy, International Organisations at 2:12 pm by Robert Klien

The Seychelles economy will grow by 3.7% in 2014 following 3.5% growth in 2013, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on March 11.

According to the statement issued by the International Monetary Fund, ” With the strong macroeconomic policies under the program, IMF staff expects the economy to continue to strengthen this year, despite an uncertain global economic environment. Growth is projected to reach 3.7%.

An IMF staff mission led by Mr. Marshall Mills visited Victoria during February 26-March 11, reaching agreement with the Seychellois authorities on their request for a new 3-year arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility, in support of the economic and financial program of the government and Central Bank of Seychelles. Subject to IMF management approval, the staff-level agreement is expected to be submitted to the IMF Executive Board for its consideration by end-June 2014. Under the arrangement, Seychelles would be able to access up to US$17.8 million, subject to semi-annual reviews.


SIBA renamed as FSA to Regulate Offshore Financial Sector

Posted in Business and Economy, Offshore Services, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction, SIBA at 2:13 pm by Robert Klien

On March 1, 2014, under the Financial Services Authority Act 2013, the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA) changed its name to the Financial Services Authority (FSA), and became the regulator for non-bank offshore financial services in the Seychelles.

In the past, the SIBA was also a service provider and facilitated international business, but the FSA represents an evolution in international financial services in Seychelles. It is the new institution that will concentrate on regulatory matters. It will be responsible for the licensing, supervision, and development of the non-bank financial services industry, including the registration and regulation of international finance companies, foundations, limited partnerships, and trusts in the Seychelles.

The FSA has also launched its new website, as well as signed of memoranda of understanding with 3 of its most important stakeholders – the Central Bank of Seychelles, the Fair Trading Commission and the Seychelles Investment Board.


New Zambian high commissioner to Seychelles accredited

Posted in Diplomatic missions, International relations at 2:14 pm by Robert Klien

On March 4, the new Zambian high commissioner to Seychelles, Chilufya Mumbi Phiri, presented her credentials to President James Michel in a brief ceremony at State House.

After meeting the President, Mrs Phiri announced that Zambia and Seychelles intend to renew diplomatic relations in the fields of tourism, trade and agriculture.

While Zambia has a lot to learn from Seychelles where tourism is concerned, she said, its government also wishes to attract Seychellois investors.

Mrs Phiri said: “In the tourism sector we have a lot to learn from Seychelles. Zambia wants to diversify from mining to tourism, trade and agriculture. So we want to develop necessary infrastructure in order to attract investors, including from Seychelles. For example, as part of the ‘Link Zambia 2000 Programme’ we want to land link every part of our country. As Seychelles depends a lot on importation and we have vast land in Zambia, we can invite investors to grow food in Zambia”.

According to Mrs Phiri, it is safe to invest in Zambia as it is one of the safest countriesin the world: “Zambia has been declared one of the safest places in the world. Zambia is the mother of democracy. We are the ones in Africa which started multi-partism and we have changed five presidents democratically without any war. So it is safe to invest in Zambia.”

It was concluded that Seychellois government officials will be invited to Zambia in order to explore cooperation possibilities.


Seychelles’ Fiscal Efforts get Positive Credit Outlook

Posted in International Organisations, Seychelles' statistics at 9:13 am by Robert Klien

Fitch Ratings https://www.fitchratings.com/web/en/dynamic/fitch-home.jsp has confirmed the Seychelles’ long-term and short-term foreign currency ratings at ‘B’ grade with a positive outlook.

Fitch attributed the positive outlook to the “strong budget discipline enforced since the start of the International Monetary Fund-supported program at end-2008,” which has led to a tighter control of expenditure, and has increased tax revenues.

There is expected to be a primary fiscal surplus (before interest payments) of 4% of GDP (gross domestic product) in 2014 and 2015, and, as a result, Fitch expects public debt to decline to 54% of GDP by 2015, from 70.5% in 2012.

According to Fitch, “revenue growth under-performed budget plans in 2013, mainly due to shortfalls in value added tax (VAT) receipts and excise revenues. The underperformance of VAT was partly due to lower than projected collection from the tourism sector, some teething problems in the first year of implementation of the new VAT regime, and appreciation of the Seychelles rupee. The fall in excise revenues reflected a decline in imports of motor vehicles and reductions in some excise tax rates.”

The agency acknowledged that the revenue shortfall was more than offset by a reduction in expenditure worth 2% of GDP. In Fitch’s view, this shows the authorities’ commitment to fiscal discipline, which means that the authorities will continue to enforce fiscal discipline in a way consistent with their debt reduction target of 50% of GDP by 2018.