Afreximbank promotes its products on Seychelles market

Posted in Business and Economy, Offshore Banking, Seychelles banking at 1:32 pm by Robert Klien

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) aims to increase awareness of the bank and its products on the Seychelles market in a view to find ways to improve ease of access to credit for Seychelles’ business community.

A forum was organized by the bank to promote increased trade financing for Seychelles businesses by showcasing the line-up of financing programmes and facilities available from Afreximbank to the Seychellois business community. There were also presentations and case studies on how to access them. The bank offers include credit, loans and guarantees.

The forum was attended by the Minister for Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy Jean-Paul Adam; the Afreximbank regional manager of Southern Africa based in Harare, Zimbabwe, Gift Simwaka; the Governor of the Central Bank, Caroline Abel; representatives of Seychelles’ private sector organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, bankers’ associations, exporters associations as well as those of government-owned entities operating commercially in the country. The Central Bank of Seychelles was facilitating the event as a shareholder of the Afreximbank.

Afreximbank, headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, was established in October 1993 as a Pan African Exim Bank in order to stimulate a consistent expansion, diversification and development of African trade, while operating as a first class, profit oriented financial institution and a centre of excellence in African trade matters.


Seychelles and Brazil sign Bilateral Air Services Agreement

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

Seychelles and Brazil have signed a bilateral air services agreement (Basa).

The document was signed on behalf of Seychelles by Barry Faure, secretary of state in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport and the outgoing Brazilian ambassador to Seychelles Francisco Carlos Soares Luz.

The signing of the Basa finalised discussions that took place between the two jurisdictions and aviation authorities during the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) air services negotiations conference held in December 2013 in South Africa.

Barry Faure said, “The air services agreement which we have signed today will finalise this function, this modern framework which encompasses all the major requirements for commercial operations in this modern age of civil aviation, thus ensuring full compliance with international civil aviation’s safety and security rules and procedures”.

He said that the signing will act as a gateway for further development of the two countries’ bilateral relations.

The Brazilian ambassador expressed his hope that Brazil and Seychelles will sign other agreements of this kind to foster tourism.


Private equity gives $4 million boost to WHL’s offshore oil exploration activities in Seychelles

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles companies at 1:26 pm by Robert Klien

Australian hydrocarbons explorer WHL Energy announced having received a loan of $4 million from a US investor, Magna Equities. The first tranche of $125,000 will be used to maintain its ongoing oil exploration activities in the Seychelles and its ‘La Bella’ gas prospecting project 200 kilometres west-southwest off the coast of Australia.

WHL Energy holds a 12,856 square kilometre offshore exploration area in the Seychelles.


Seychelles ranks 2nd for tourism competitiveness in Africa

Posted in Tourism industry at 1:23 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles was ranked 2nd in Africa in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2015. Compared to the 2013 report, the jurisdiction dropped from 38th to 54th place globally out of 141 countries, with its overall index result sliding from 4.51 to 4.

The main factors in the lower rankings were Seychelles’ indices for price competitiveness, cultural resources and business travel.

At 1st place in the region were South Africa, while Seychelles’ neighbouring island of Mauritius was placed 3rd.

The 115-island archipelago of Seychelles is famous for its crystal-clear warm waters, picturesque tropical beaches and population of just 90,000 people that has a reputation as a small but luxurious holiday destination, welcoming just over 230,000 international tourists in 2014.

To determine the rankings in the biennial report, not only arrivals were taken into account but also 14 sub-indices under four pillars:
– Enabling Environment,
– Travel and Tourism Policy,
– Infrastructure and Natural,
– Cultural Resources.

The report is compiled from numerous reputable data sources, including the World Bank, UNESCO, the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Tourism Organisation.


Seychelles and Qingdao promoting mutual trade and investment

Posted in Bilateral Treaties, Business and Economy, Double Taxation Agreements, Financial Services, Foreign investments, International Organisations, International relations, Seychelles infrastructure, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction at 1:16 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles and Qingdao, a major port city of China’s eastern province of Shandong, have widely discussed trade and investment opportunities between entrepreneurs from both jurisdictions.

A 1-day business forum was held on May 12 in the northern part of the Seychelles main island of Mahé, where about 30 local companies and representatives of some 20 businesses from Qingdao could have business-to-business meetings and discuss the possibilities for cooperation in infrastructure, banking, import and export, shipping, and construction.

According to the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB), it had responded to the Qingdao delegation’s proposal to organise the forum as the group are currently on a tour of the Indian Ocean to establish business contacts and develop partnerships.

SIB’s Chief Executive, Rupert Simeon, told SNA that the Qingdao delegation have already been to Mauritius and are now heading to Sri Lanka.

It should be noted that a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTA) already exists between Seychelles and China allowing businessmen operating in the two countries to pay tax in one of the jurisdictions and avoid taxation in the other, aiming to encourage trade and investment between the two jurisdictions. Also, Seychelles is a member of both the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) trade alliances and was recently welcomed as the 161st member of the World Trade Organisation. So, there should be much interest from Chinese businesses especially in the offshore sector that are using the tax structures in place to invest in the region.


Seychelles to follow IMF standard for data dissemination

Posted in Business and Economy, International Organisations, Seychelles' statistics at 12:38 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles has committed itself to make available economic and financial data to the public in a more frequent and timely manner. The jurisdiction has subscribed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS).

This platform was established by the IMF in 1996 to encourage member countries to provide good quality data that can be accessible to the public.

In a press statement on May 1, 2015, IMF said Seychelles has become its 64th member country and the third Sub-Saharan African nation to subscribe to the SDDS after South Africa and Mauritius. According to Director of the IMF’s Statistics Department, “Seychelles’ subscription to the SDDS represents a major step forward for official statistics in the country and for those who use these data”. He said that “The subscription to the standards underscores Seychelles’ strong commitment to transparency, as well as the adoption of internationally accepted best practices in statistics.”

There are 4 main categories of information required:
– the real sector which comprises for example of national accounts, labour market and consumer price index among others which are information compiled by the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics (NBS);
– the fiscal sector which includes general government operations and government debt which is the Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy’s responsibility to compile;
– the financial sector which has to do mainly with the monetary issues;
– the external sector including balance of payments, investment position among others.

By adhering to the IMF standard, all the above-mentioned information is to be presented in a more collective manner and it is the National Bureau of Statistics that has been mandated to ensure that data from the 4 sectors are collected and passed on to the International Monetary Fund.