04.10.17

Seychelles and Kenya to strengthen ties in trade, tourism, security

Posted in Bilateral Treaties, Diplomatic missions, International relations at 6:16 pm by Robert Klien

During a visit to Kenya, Seychelles’ President Danny Faure and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta entered into a wide-reaching agreement aimed to enhance ties in trade and security

President Faure left Seychelles on April 2 on his first state visit since he took office in October 2016 following the resignation of former President James Michel.

The agreement was the culmination of bilateral discussions between the two heads of state at the State House in Nairobi on April 3. The agreement will see Kenya export more human capital (for example, teachers) and agricultural products to Seychelles.

President Faure said it makes more economic sense for Seychelles to import beef and poultry from Kenya instead of countries like Brazil. In the maritime sector, Seychelles has expressed its support to Kenya in developing its fishing industry, where President Kenyatta said little attention has been paid to since its independence. Seychelles will also support Kenya to develop the capacity of the port of Mombasa to act as a fish trans-shipment port.

The two Presidents also agreed for the two countries to cooperate in tourism development by partnering the agencies managing the sectors.

04.05.17

Secret US-Russia meeting held in Seychelles, according to Washington Post

Posted in Business and Economy, International relations at 6:12 pm by Robert Klien

On April 4, the Seychelles’ Department of Foreign Affairs said it does not know if the individuals mentioned in a Washington Post article met in Seychelles.

According to the newspaper, a secret meeting was organised between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump.

According to the Washington Post, meeting took place in Seychelles around January 11, 9 days before Trump’s inauguration. “Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective that would be likely to require major concessions to Moscow on US sanctions”.

01.13.17

IMF says Seychelles Needs to Boost Revenue

Posted in International Organisations, International relations at 6:22 pm by Robert Klien

On January 11, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicated that Seychelles will need to take further measures aimed to increase tax revenue over the medium term.

With strong economic activity continuing in Seychelles, the IMF it expects the country’s primary surplus – the surplus before accounting for the cost of interest on debt – is to reach 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, despite the expansionary impact of the fiscal initiatives announced in the State of the Nation Address in early 2016. Those measures included personal income tax (PIT) cuts and increases in pensions and the minimum wage.

The IMF confirmed that “the State of the Nation Address initiatives entailed substantial fiscal costs, around 3% of GDP on a full-year basis.” The PIT reforms were designed by the Government of Seychelles to reduce the tax burden on low-income earners and, on a phased basis, make the tax system more progressive.

The IMF noted that the proposed 2017 Budget includes some measures to moderate the impact of the initiatives, including a new property tax on foreigners’ land ownership in Seychelles, and realignments to the presumptive tax rate and to the tax rate on profits made by individual businesses. However, its opinion was that “additional and permanent measures to boost revenue and contain expenditure will be needed to ensure a steady debt reduction over the medium term.”

01.03.17

Switzerland consults on Implementation of AEOI Agreements with Seychelles

Posted in Business and Economy, International relations at 11:43 am by Robert Klien

Switzerland has launched a consultation on the introduction of the automatic exchange of information in tax matters with a series of countries including Seychelles.

The consultation will run until March 15, 2017. The Swiss Federal Department of Finance (FDF) is planning that the AEOI with a number of jurisdictions enters into force on January 1, 2018, with the first exchanges to take place in 2019.

The introduction of the AEOI with the countries confirms Switzerland’s international commitment to implement the AEOI standard. It is expected to enhance the competitiveness and credibility as well as the integrity of Switzerland’s financial center.

Besides Seychelles, the list of countries includes: Andorra, Argentina, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Chile, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, India, Israel, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, the Seychelles, South Africa, Turks and Caicos, and Uruguay.

09.16.16

Seychelles is 36th World’s Freest Economy

Posted in Business and Economy, International relations, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction at 6:47 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles was ranked 36th out of 159 countries and territories in the Institute’s annual Economic Freedom of the World report.

Top position was occupied by Hong Kong which became the world’s freest economy for the 22nd consecutive year. It was followed by Singapore. The other nations in the top 10 are New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Georgia, Ireland, Mauritius, the UAE, and Australia and the UK.

The rankings of some other major countries are as follows: the United States was 16th, Germany was 30th; Japan was 40th; South Korea was 42nd; France was 57th; and Italy – 69th.

09.05.16

Seychelles to set up Regional Coordination Centre to fight Maritime Crime

Posted in International Organisations, International relations at 10:41 am by Robert Klien

To deal with maritime crimes, Seychelles will soon activate a Regional Operation Coordination Centre, local authorities said.

The chief of staff of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF), Michael Rosette, said with the operation of the new centre should enhance the jurisdiction’s capacity to deal with the increasing threats of maritime crimes.

The announcement came after a 1-week trans-regional seminar hosted by the Seychelles Coast Guard in which 30 participants from several countries met to discuss ways to combat terrorism and violent extremism using non-violent methods. The event was organised by the American Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), the Defense Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP) and the United States Embassy.

Rosette said that it is important for all to collaborate and have a concerted approach to deal with terrorism.

The course coordinator, retired US army officer Carlos Burgos, said it was important to take a strategic approach to deal with the issue of terrorism as this would allow participants to look at larger issues across their whole country. “It’s not about combating terrorism with arms but rather combating it through social and political programmes,” he said.

To remind, Seychelles has suffered economic fallout from past attacks from Somali pirates in the region.

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.

06.15.16

Seychelles and China celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations

Posted in Diplomatic missions, International relations at 1:59 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles and China celebrated 40 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between them with a reception arranged on June 10.

Vice-President Danny Faure was guest of honour at the reception hosted by the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Seychelles, Yin Lixian, at the embassy at St Louis. Also, former President James Mancham, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan; the Minister for Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy Jean-Paul Adam; the Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation Michael Benstrong; members of the National Assembly, were present at the event.

Both Ambassador Yin and Minister Morgan proposed a toast for long lasting relations between the two countries.

Ambassador Yin said that the friendship between the Chinese and Seychellois people has a long history, and the past 40 years have seen massive progress in Seychelles-China relations.

Minister Morgan said for decades on, Seychelles and China established a framework for their partnership and Seychelles is proud to still have China as a trusted partner in that respect. He said: “China is the world’s most populous nation and Seychelles one of the smallest. The meaningful engagement that our two nations share is testament to how regardless of size, we have built partnership based on a spirit of mutual respect and exemplary friendship that serves as a model for the rest of the world”.

06.08.16

Seychelles and Slovenia to sign DTA

Posted in Business and Economy, Double Taxation Agreements, International relations, Seychelles government at 1:03 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles and Slovenia have agreed to push for the conclusion of a double tax agreement (DTA), during a meeting held to discuss improving bilateral relations.

Slovenia’s Ambassador, Selby Pillay, said: “Slovenia and Seychelles are connected by many attributes. As small states, we understand each other’s efforts and we would be pleased to share and exchanges experiences in the fields of environment and nature conservation and tourism.”

Following the meeting, a statement was issued to announce that the 2 jurisdictions are holding negotiations towards a DTA, which would ensure that income from cross-border trade and investment is taxed only once. It would allocate the taxing rights of both Seychelles and Slovenia; potentially reduce withholding taxes on dividends, interest, and royalties income; and would likely include tax information exchange provisions.

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