Republic of Seychelles
Seychelles holds the record of any nation as having the highest percentage of land under natural conservation. Nearly 50% of the total land area in Seychelles is a natural wildlife reserve. Environmental legislation is incredibly strict as every tourism project undergoes an environmental review, including lengthy consultations with the public and conservationists. The end result of such coordinated development has lead Seychelles to be a world leader in sustainable tourism. Seychelles maintains an intact and stable environment and since 1993 guarantees its citizenry the right to a clean environment under law. Seychelles proudly offers some of the cleanest beaches and finest aquatic activities in the world. With over 1,000 recorded species of fish surrounding the islands, guests enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, boating and deep sea fishing.
Seychelles lies outside the cyclone belt and is not prone to suffering tropical cyclones, hurricanes or tornadoes. Monsoon rains brought by the Northwest trade winds are common during the winter months from December to February. Annual rainfall averages from 288 centimeters in the capital city of Victoria to 355 centimeters on the hillside slopes. The sub-equatorial temperatures maintain an average of 26º to 28º Celsius and rarely falls below 23ºC or exceeds 30ºC. During the spring months of April and May and the autumn months of October and November, the tropical climate enables ocean water temperatures to reach 29ºC with visibility as far as 30 meters or more.
As the islands of Seychelles had no original indigenous population, the current Seychellois are composed of emigrants. The largest ethnic groups are African, French, English, Indian and Chinese. Families tend to be led by dominant mothers and grandmothers who, in addition to leading active roles in society, take primary responsibility in raising their children and controlling household expenditures. The domestic role of men is more peripheral as they support their children and extended family financially. Since 1981 there has been a free educational system available to all children beginning at the age of 5 and requires attendance in grades 1 thru 9. Although well over 90% of Seychellois are educated according to English standards and receive an International General Certificate of Education (IGCSE), the culture remains emphatically French with approximately 70% of the population having a family name of French origin and 20% of English origin.
The main natural resources of Seychelles are fish, copra, cinnamon, coconut, salt and iron. Tourism, agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing and construction are all economic pillars of Seychelles, with the export of canned tuna and fresh fish bearing 83% of national exports (10% of total foreign exchange earnings). The Seychelles International Trade Zone (SITZ) consists of a series of companies involved in light manufacturing, processing, assembling, distribution, management operations and technology oriented businesses. Currently 60% of the country's population is employed by the private sector. SITZ assists the private sector in managing its economic and social development. The business community in Seychelles is extremely environmentally conscious and maintains a prosperous economy. Although multinational oil companies have explored the waters around the islands, no oil or gas has been found. Since there are no oil refining capabilities on the islands, oil and gas are imported at the rate of 5,700 barrels per day from the Gulf, Kuwait and Bahrain. Seychelles imports three times more oil than is needed for internal uses because it re-exports the surplus to ships and aircraft on Mahe island. Oil and gas imports, distribution and re-export are the responsibility of Seychelles Petroleum (Sepec) and oil exploration is the duty of Seychelles National Oil Company (SNOC). The Ministry of Information Technology and Communication is responsible for regulating the telecommunications sector. International fixed line and mobile communications are provided by Cable and Wireless and AirTel, while Atlas and Kokonet furnish high speed internet. Strict regulations and competition between companies ensures quality communications while tranquil weather patterns further assist in providing uninterrupted services. Air Seychelles, British Airways and Air France offer flights to major European destinations such as London, Paris, Rome, Munich and Zurich. There are more than one hundred flights to and from the Seychelles International Airport each week servicing over 150,000 tourists annually.
Financial and Offshore Services
The Seychelles Rupee (SCR) has a stable exchange rate against major world currencies. Barclays Bank Seychelles is well specialized in providing banking services to international clients and offshore companies. Most international banks and insurance companies have established offices or branch offices in Seychelles. As of 2006 over 4,000 expatriates live and work in Seychelles. Courier services are provided by FedEx, UPS, DHL and others. Since the introduction of the International Business Companies Act in 1994, the Republic of Seychelles has gained worldwide recognition as a competitive location for offshore incorporation. As of late, the offshore corporate and financial services sector is regarded as one of the strongest developing sectors of the national economy. The Seychelles offshore industry is compliant with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Licensing and regulating offshore business activities is conducted by the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA) including monitoring the use of International Business Companies (IBC), Companies Special Licenses (CSL), Protected Cell Companies, (PCC), Limited Partnerships (LP) as well as International Trusts, Mutual Funds and Boat and Aircraft Registration. All Seychelles offshore products are priced in United States Dollars (USD). Asset Protection Services International offers incorporation services for Companies Special Licenses, Foundations, International Business Companies, International Trusts, Limited Partnerships and Protected Cell Companies in the jurisdiction of the Republic of Seychelles.
Under Schedule 1 (Part 1) of the Republic of Seychelles Constitution Seychelles consists of exactly 155 granite and coral islands and covers an economic zone of 1.4 million square kilometers in the Southwestern Indian Ocean. This pristine archipelago is located between 4 to 10 degrees south of the equator, northeast of Madagascar about 1,500 kilometers off the East coast of Africa. The largest island in the Republic of Seychelles is Mahe and at 148 square kilometers it constitutes one-third of the nation's total land area. Other notably sized islands are Silhouette, Praslin and La Digue, which are 20, 34 and 48 kilometers away from Mahe respectively.
Coat of Arms
Arab traders were the first to have spotted the islands. During the 16th century French settlers arrived and later officially took possession of Seychelles in 1742. They started permanent settlements in 1770 and ruled Seychelles for 40 years. The islands later changed hands seven times between the French and the British. And in 1814 the Treaty of Paris incorporated both Seychelles and Mauritius as part of the British Empire. In 1903 Seychelles formally attained the status of a separate British Crown Colony. It wasn't until 1976 that Seychelles attained Independence. In 1992 Seychelles became a multi-party democracy and through a national referendum created a new Constitution in June of 1993. Seychelles is currently divided into twenty-five political districts, each with a seat on the National Assembly. The Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF) recently surpassed the Seychelles Democratic Party (SDP) to win the presidency and a majority of seats in the National Assembly. The Seychelles legal system is based on English Common Law, Napoleonic Code and the Seychelles Constitution, while Civil Law is based on adapted Napoleonic Code. Seychelles Company Law is based on English Common Law. The highest court in the Judiciary is the Court of Appeal. The Republic of Seychelles is a member of the United Nations, African Union, Indian Ocean Commission and British Commonwealth. Seychelles has embassies in Paris and New York as well as numerous honorary consultants worldwide.
June 29, 1976
June 29, 1976
Seychelles Rupee (SCR)
Seychelles Rupee (SCR)