Seychelles President Mr. James Michel has launched a new brand – “Exciting Seychelles” – for investment, which advocates Seychelles not just as the place for holidays but also a great place to invest, a great place for wealth creation, and a great location for global and regional corporate positioning.
Speaking at the launch of the Investment Forum this morning, President Michel urged all stakeholders, the private sector, civil society, and government departments and agencies alike to work closely with the Seychelles Investment Board and speak with one voice in encouraging and promoting investment in Seychelles, as well as ensuring national unity and stability.
“A new brand, no matter how solid the concept, no matter how creative the slogans, will not go far without the ultimate commitment of all concerned. It will not succeed if we do not take true ownership of it. We also have to bear in mind that without national unity, without stability, there can be no investment, no growth, no social and economic development. We will slide into chaos. … We are doing well. There is room, of course, for amelioration. We have to continue to improve and do better. But we cannot afford to rock the boat,” said President Michel.
Set at the end of the Seychelles2020 Expo, the Seychelles Investment Forum brings together policy makers, business leaders, and business associations from all the prominent sectors of the economy.
President Michel emphasized on areas which still require rapid improvement. He said that the recently-announced initiatives to ease bank credit facilities for businesses are a good start in this new direction.
“Through my visits to various communities and businesses, I have been able to personally gauge the success of some of our Seychellois-owned businesses. But their concerns have not evaded me: the delays in the process for certain investment approval, the delays for business registration, the high interest rates which the banks are charging, the strict lending requirements of those same banks, the high rental charges for office and industrial space, the high labor turnover, the limitations for development in terms of land and other infrastructures.”
The President recalled the government’s goal on investment is to propel the private sector to anchor itself as the main engine of growth, while the government focuses its efforts to facilitate, to regulate, and to ensure sustainability and coordination of the joint efforts.
“However, these efforts must be continuous in the light of drastic changes in the world economy if we want to maintain growth and to evolve with the times. At the same time, we should always be mindful of the effects any development could have on our environment and ensure that our economic growth remains within limits that are environmentally sustainable. We also need to continuously improve on service delivery and professionalism when dealing with potential investors. … The creation of an independent appeal panel for any investor who feels aggrieved by any investment decision should further strengthen the overall investment framework and provide further security and stability to investments,” said the President.
– SIB has approved, over the past 5 years, investments to the value of SR45.5 billion rupees.
– The bureau has processed well over 1,200 applications for businesses in various forms and sectors of our economy.
– Small tourism accommodation category, which is being promoted by Seychellois entrepreneurs, dominated 49% of all approved projects for 2010.