Investment Opportunities in Seychelles
Investment opportunities in Seychelles
Seychelles is one of the upper middle class economies of the world. The economy mainly depends upon tourism and the fishing sector. The employment, foreign earnings, construction, banking and commerce is mainly depended on these two sectors. The government implemented several measures to liberalize the economy in 2005 – 06.The steps taken were to liberalize the trade regime, privatization of the state owned entities and the liberalization of the restrictions on foreign trade. Though these measures were taken they were limited in their outlook and thus were insufficient to address longstanding macroeconomic imbalances and vulnerabilities.
The steep, wooded mountains of Seychelles, lack of arable land, coupled with fluctuating rainfall patterns limits the amount and variety of agricultural production and livestock farming in Seychelles. Agriculture is characterized by small farms of sizes ranging from 0.5 to two hectares, producing vegetables, fruits and livestock. But local farmers of Seychelles have learnt the art of how to make the best use of the country’s long hours of sunshine and plentiful rainfall to grow a wide variety of both tropical and more traditional fruits and vegetables. The sector contributes to around 3.8 percent of the countrys’ GDP and is also responsible for employing 3,800 natives. In the last five years the cultivation of crops like cinnamon and coconut has dropped considerably.
The investment opportunities for this sector lies particularly in production and processing fruits and vegetables for exports and the exploitation of the traditional plantation crops like cinnamon, patchouli and vanilla to produce value-added products for export to niche markets.
Since the arrival of Seychelles’ first inhabitants, the country has relied on the surrounding rich fishing grounds for part of the population’s staple diet and local consumption. The growing fishing industry contributes at around 15 percent of GDP. Home to industrial fishing fleets from the European Union and Far East and the vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Seychelles provides an abundant resource and fish products represent 95 percent of the total Seychelles exports.
The total no. of fishermen vary from 1700 to 1800 and the no. of people employed in processing and ancillary activities are about 4000.The Heinz Indian Ocean Tuna, the world’s largest tuna factory present is one of the largest employers.
The Seychelles government promotes investments in fish processing, port services and infrastructure development .Fishing on the plateau region is reserved for the local fishermen, there is scope for investment in industrial tuna fishing. Potential is present in the mariculture for high value species such as pearl oysters, aquarium fish, offshore fish farming and potential exploitation of deepwater species.
The lower availability of natural resources and labour supply has curtailed the development of a significant manufacturing base in Seychelles, but certain segments have exploited reliable niche markets both in Seychelles and internationally. This sector mainly possesses only a few large businesses, the largest of them being the Heinz Indian Ocean Tuna, Chelle Medical Seychelles Breweries Ltd. There are other medium, small and micro scale manufacturing units also employing around 10 people on an average. The manufacturing sector of Seychelles has many challenges for the local entrepreneurs. The activities prevalent in this sector are of assembly, repair and maintenance, craft and related services.
As the country pays a lot of importance to its environment, Seychelles favor light and nonpolluting manufacturing units. A wide range of opportunity for investment is present in Seychelles for innovative light industrial projects.
In March 2007 the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), public private sector body unveiled the new destination brand The Seychelles Islands, Another World. This has generated considerable interest in the global travel community reinforcing the image of Seychelles as a premier holiday destination. Tourism sector accounts for an approximate 17 percent of GDP, and contributes about 41 percent of total foreign exchange receipts. The sector employs 19 percent of total workforce. Annually around 130,000 visitors come to Seychelles. The infrastructure for tourism has also increased; many five star establishments have come up in the region. The known international chains include the Banyan Tree Resorts, Constance Group, Le Méridien, MK Resorts, Taj and Sun International. With the coming of open door policy in 2005, airlines like Emirates and Qatar have started operating. The government has always encouraged new developments and private sector investment in upgrading the existing establishments in the tourism sector.