08.16.16

Seychelles maintains credit rating, which signals economic stability

Posted in International Organisations, Seychelles government, Seychelles' statistics at 10:20 am by Robert Klien

According to the Seychelles Finance, Trade and Blue Economy Minister, Jean Paul Adam, a credit rating of BB- for the 2nd straight year for the Seychelles’ government signals the jurisdiction’s economic stability and increased resilience amid global economic uncertainty.

Fitch Ratings gave Seychelles the same grade in 2015.

The finance minister said that the rating and the archipelago’s ‘stable outlook’ affirmed by Fitch is a show of confidence in Seychelles economy. He said: “Quite a number of countries including both highly developed countries and developing African countries have been downgraded due to global uncertainties, so for us this shows that we are on the right track”.

“Fitch Ratings has affirmed Seychelles’ Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at ‘BB-‘ with a Stable Outlook. The issue rating on Seychelles’ unsecured foreign-currency bond has also been affirmed at ‘BB-‘. The Short-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency IDRs have been affirmed at ‘B’ and the Country Ceiling at ‘BB’”.

In 2008, Seychelles had a total public debt that stood at 151% of GDP, with the external public debt representing almost 95% of GDP (USD 808 million). A default in debt payments prompted Seychelles to embark on a 5-year IMF-backed economic reform programme in October 2008, ending in October 2013. This has been followed by a new generation of reforms approved by the IMF in June 2014.

In its latest assessment, Fitch noted that the jurisdiction’s public debt remains on a downward path, while highlighting the fact that the government’s target to reduce the debt to GDP ratio to below 50% by 2018 has now been moved to 2020.

The authorities have also decided to reduce the country’s primary surplus to 3% of GDP for the years 2017 to 2020 compared to above 4% the past 2 years.

08.12.16

New Seychelles-Reunion agreement to promote regional tourism

Posted in International relations, Tourism industry at 10:25 am by Robert Klien

A tourism agreement signed between Seychelles and Reunion is to facilitate the exchange of personnel and the sharing of knowledge and expertise.

The memorandum of understanding was signed on August 11 following discussions on the sidelines of the Vanilla Islands’ ministerial meeting held recently in Reunion, a French department in the Indian Ocean.

According to the chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), Sherin Naiken, the signing was proof of the partnerships existing between Seychelles and Reunion. The agreement is to strengthen this partnership by looking at common marketing projects and promotional activities.

Particularly, the cruise market is an area that will benefit from the new agreement.

The agreement was signed by the chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), Sherin Naiken and the president of the Fédération Reunionaise du Tourisme, Azzedine Bouali.

Tourism officers from Reunion will be coming to Seychelles to learn more about the country’s tourism and marketing activities.

The new agreement is set for 3 years, but both parties expressed the hope of taking it further.

08.05.16

Seychelles commits to BEPS Minimum Standards

Posted in International Organisations, International relations at 5:52 pm by Robert Klien

The Seychelles has committed to implementing the minimum standards put forward by the OECD on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).

The commitment comes as part of the jurisdiction becoming an associate member of the OECD’s new inclusive framework for BEPS implementation.

These minimum standards are applied on:
– harmful tax practices,
– tax treaty abuse,
– country-by-country reporting,
– dispute resolution mechanisms.

As an associate member, the Seychelles has committed to engage in future negotiations on measures and pay an annual fee.

Members of the framework will work on an equal footing to fight tax avoidance, to improve the coherence of international tax rules, as well as to ensure a more transparent tax environment.

In particular, the framework will:
– develop standards in respect of remaining BEPS issues;
– review the implementation of agreed minimum standards through an effective monitoring system;
– monitor BEPS issues, including tax challenges raised by the digital economy;
– facilitate the implementation processes of the members by providing further guidance and by supporting development of toolkits and guidance to support low-capacity developing countries.

The Seychelles recently met with more than 80 countries and jurisdictions, in the first meeting of G20 members and associate members, held in Japan. At the event, participants started work to undertake the standard-setting on remaining issues including transfer pricing and interest deductability, and the development of practical guidance to support consistent, global implementation of their commitments to the BEPS package.