New British High Commissioner Is Accredited to have more focus on UK Investments in Seychelles

Posted in Business and Economy, Diplomatic missions, Foreign investments at 2:08 pm by Robert Klien

The new British High Commissioner to Seychelles Caron Rӧhsler has been accredited so she is expected encourage more British businesses to invest in Seychelles.

This diplomat who has spent the past 2 weeks in Seychelles and then presented her credentials to the Seychelles President James Michel.

Piracy and maritime security was among issues Rӧhsler said she discussed with Michel, including the need to move from prevention to tackling the root causes of piracy. However, opportunities for the two jurisdictions to collaborate in new areas including the blue economy concept Seychelles is promoting were also discussed.

Rӧhsler said: “I hope that over the course of my time here, we will see perhaps a shift in focus from working on security issues together, which remains very important, to greater ties to ensure prosperity and to see more British businesses investing here in Seychelles.”


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 change oil legislation to invite exploration bids

Posted in Business and Economy, Foreign investments, Seychelles legislation at 12:56 pm by Robert Klien

According to an energy official, Seychelles plans to revamp its model petroleum production sharing agreements. After that, oil and gas companies will be invited to bid for exploration licences from May 2013.

East Africa has become a hotbed of exploration after oil discoveries in Uganda and Kenya, as well as natural gas finds in Tanzania and Mozambique. Currently, Seychelles is attracting much interest.

Eddy Belle, chief executive of upstream regulator PetroSeychelles, said that many firms have approached him but they will have to wait until after April to submit their proposals. “By then we will have put in place the few pieces of legislation required to modernise our model petroleum agreement and the new fiscal regime,” he told Reuters in an interview. He also added, “We will not have a licensing round per se. The way we will do it is: after April 2013, oil companies can come in at any time and provide a proposal for an area”.

So far, Afren Plc and Australia’s WHL Energy are the only companies holding exploration licences in Seychelles.

Belle said that after April, once a company had approached the government for an exploration area, other interested ones would have up to 90 days to submit bids for the same block. After the 90 days expired, the government would evaluate and award the exploration area to the company that showed it had the financial capability to conduct exploration and then go into production if it struck commercial quantities of oil.


SIB to stress on encouraging local investments

Posted in Business and Economy, Foreign investments at 2:06 pm by Robert Klien

The newly appointed chief executive (CEO) Rupert Simeon of the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) said that his primary aim is to encourage more local investments and at the same time not to neglect foreign ones.

Simeon said that there has been the general perception about the SIB only striving to attract foreign investments. However, local investors are also given due importance. “The SIB will work towards dispelling this perception,” said Mr Simeon. He noted that the SIB has helped many Seychellois investors but this is not being put to the fore as not many people want to talk about the process they have been through when their businesses are doing well.

The SIB will be holding a series of meetings with all agencies, authorities, ministries namely education, finance trade and investment, land use and housing, which deal directly with investments to explain SIB’s new work programme, discuss different issues relating to their functions, roles and responsibilities and get their feedbacks on matters relating to their operation in relation to local investments.

Mr Simeon emphasized: “If all the conditions in place are conducive for local investments to thrive it will therefore be easy for foreign investors to come in as our laws do not discriminate between local and foreign investors”.

Mr Simeon believes with this new approach and dynamism 2013 will be a dynamic year for SIB and for investments in Seychelles.


Investors get more interested in Seychelles increases in 2012 as SIB promotion efforts

Posted in Foreign investments at 2:41 pm by Robert Klien

“2012 has not been an easy year for Seychelles in terms of investment but the level of potential investor interests in non-traditional sectors has surpassed our expectations,” Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) chief executive Sherin Renaud said.

Speaking at the end of the year for the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB), its chief executive said the board has been busy organising several promotion forums in different parts of the world as well as in Seychelles aimed at boosting investors’ and businessmen’s confidence to do business here and to inform local businesses and investors of all the potential business opportunities.


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.”


Seychelles targets Russian investors at conference in Prague‏

Posted in Business and Economy, Financial Services, Foreign investments, International relations, SIBA at 3:38 pm by Robert Klien

A Seychelles’ delegation has attended a 2-day conference. The event was held in Prague on November 10-11, 2011.

The event was organized by the SIC Corporation based in the Czech Republic with the support of the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB). The conference targeted mainly Russian investors interested in investing.

The delegation was led by Investment, Natural Resources and Industry Minister Peter Sinon. Also, there were members of the delegation from the SIB, the Central Bank of Seychelles, the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA), and several domestic private financial services sector companies.

This conference aimed to tell investors about various emerging opportunities and possibilities for investment in Seychelles. Also, the event was used as an occasion to formally nominate the partners of SIC Corporation as candidates for the Trade and Investment Representatives’ of Seychelles in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent (CIS) countries.

In his opening speech, Sinon emphasized that Seychelles is a well-positioned jurisdiction and that there is an increase in trade and investment potentials between Africa and the growing emerging markets of the Far East. He stressed that the jurisdiction is a politically stable, open, welcoming, multi-cultural and idyllic destination in the middle of the Indian Ocean that is a potential powerful platform for offering financial solutions and related services.

Seychelles has maintained a good relationship with Russia and the CIS countries. Investment from this part of the world has significantly contributed to the figures for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Seychelles.

It should be noted that, in accordance with the data revealed by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Russian Federation is the largest outward investing emerging economy surpassed only by Hong Kong. Russia stands ahead of Brazil, China and India. This is the motivation for trying to get to know specific and interested investors in what Seychelles has to offer.


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 investment forum held in Brussels

Posted in Business and Economy, Foreign investments at 11:56 am by Robert Klien

The Seychelles International Investment Forum was held in Brussels from October 20 to 22. This event was seen as a milestone in the investment history of Seychelles.

The forum was organised by the Seychelles Investment Bureau (SIB) in close collaboration with various public and private partnerships.

SIB chief executive Sherin Renaud said that this investment forum had been organised at a very high level and with such prominence.

The forum was attended by more than 100 delegates from across Europe. The presence of local investors and agencies with a direct interest in investment provided an effective platform for potential international investors to learn more about business opportunities in the jurisdiction.

According to Renaud, the SIB is planning to host a similar forum in 2011 for the local business community.


Seychelles’ offshore investment potential appreciated by China

Posted in Business and Economy, Foreign investments, International relations, Offshore Services, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction, SIBA at 11:50 am by Robert Klien

On March 10, a seminar on Seychelles’ offshore investment potential was held in Beijing. The theme of the seminar was: “Seychelles offshore planning for China companies in 2010 – how to maximize your company value through offshore practices”.

Around 120 Chinese professionals from the offshore sector along with several high-level officials were attracted by the event. Henry Liu, executive director of the Eastern Africa Investment Department, China-Africa Development Fund, was one of them.

The seminar was jointly organised by Seychelles’ embassy in China and the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA).

Conrad Benoiton, managing director of Appleby Corporate Services, chaired the meeting. Other speakers included Laurence Lipsher, a US expert on Chinese taxation; Jennifer Sullivan, head of financial services supervision and economist Hilda Palconit, both from the Central Bank of Seychelles; and Anuj Sharma, director of Abacus Seychelles. Barclays Bank was represented by its commercial director John Esther. Also, many Seychellois offshore services providers took part in the seminar.

With the help of a delegation from SIBA, headed by chief executive and managing director Steve Fanny, all the participants had a chance to meet representatives of Chinese companies showing interest in Seychelles’ offshore opportunities. As a result, all Seychellois and Chinese delegates were optimistic about the potential of the event to make Seychelles more distinctly noticeable as a very competitive offshore jurisdiction.

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