Investors urged to focus on value-added activities
Private investors and other stakeholders have been urged to invest not only in tourism but also focus on value-added activities that will cater to both locals and visitors.
The appeal was made by the chief executive of the Seychelles Investment Bureau (SIB) Cindy Vidot during the bureau’s first investors meeting held at the Eden Bleu Hotel recently.
This new initiative is part of the SIB’s promotional efforts and seen as an initiative geared towards promoting investments that cater to both local and tourist demands in the market.
According to Ms Vidot, this idea emanates from feedback received after the 'Invest in Seychelles' campaign launched in April as well as from President Danny Faure's announcement in his 2018 State-of-the-nation address that land is to be made available in designated districts.
The investors' meeting gathered representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning, the Ministry of Housing, Infrastructure, Land and Transport, the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, the Seychelles Licensing Authority, the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, potential private investors that have submitted a plan and or expressed interest through SIB to invest in the sector.
In her welcoming address, Ms Vidot highlighted the efforts being done by the SIB.
"We remain conscious of the role investments play as an engine for economic growth and employment for our country. Therefore, on behalf of SIB, I am pleased to introduce such an event in our efforts to bring business leaders, investors and government officials together under one roof, to share information, best practices and attract investments," she said.
The meeting was held in two parts; the first one comprised presentations by SIB and the department of tourism and the second networking among participants.
Ms Vidot pointed out that through this, all participants will be provided with key information required and to facilitate them in the setting up their successful businesses.
On his part, Oliver Bastienne, the chairman of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), emphasised on the ease of doing business, the setting up of a better landscape for businesses so as to move forward.
He stated that there is a need to create incentives to encourage investors within particular sectors and that it is fundamental that government recognises the different setbacks encountered by the private sector.
Mr Bastienne called for honesty and clarity on certain issues and reiterated that SIB has an important role to play in supporting the private sector.
One main issue of concern that came out strongly in his address as well in the networking was the allocation of land initiative for the private sector.
He reiterated the need for government to look into the land issue and to really listen to the private sector.
On the issue of ease of doing business, Ms Vidot said that this was a very valid concern when talking to investors and that one of the biggest concerns is indeed the cost of doing business in Seychelles and this cannot be ignored. This must be actively tackled as it presents a challenge for SIB as it continues to fulfil its primary mandate of promoting investment in Seychelles.
On the whole, she said that she was satisfied with the turnout for this first meeting, which will now be on a bi-monthly basis but affirmed that we need strong participation on both sides, from key government officials and the private sector alike.
Ms Vidot said that all participants have welcomed this new initiative.
Her vision is to see SIB work collaboratively with government departments and agencies and private sector to support the promotion of investment that is well in line with our national priorities.
The accompanying photos show highlights of the meeting.