Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Fitch Affirms Seychelles "B" Rating:Meaning Vulnerable

 Fitch Ratings has affirmed Seychelles' Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B', Long-term local currency IDR at 'B+' and Short-term foreign currency IDR at 'B'. The Outlook is Positive. Fitch has also affirmed Seychelles' Country Ceiling at 'B'. KEY RATING DRIVERS Seychelles' 'B' IDRs and Positive Outlook reflect the following key rating drivers: -Positive fiscal dynamics. Strong budget discipline has been enforced since the start of the IMF-supported programme at end-2008. The primary budget surplus has averaged 8% of GDP since 2009 due to substantial reforms including a marked cut in public sector employment, tighter control on expenditure and reform in public companies. Fitch expects the primary surplus to be 5.1% of GDP in 2013 and public debt to decline to 54% of GDP by 2015 (from 70.5% in 2012) due to continuing surpluses. -Improved macroeconomic stability. Inflation has slowed since its peak in mid-2012 (8.9%) to 3.7% in August 2013, supported by an appreciation of the Seychelles rupee (+8% against the USD from end-2012). Fitch expects on-going reforms in liquidity management, with the introduction of longer maturities instruments, combined with a gradual building of foreign reserves (FX), to benefit economic stability in the longer term. -Completion of public debt restructuring. The central government debt declined to 70.5% of GDP in 2012 (from 178% in 2008) due to public debt restructuring following a fiscal and balance-of-payment crisis in 2008. Debt is still high relative to that of 'B'-rated peers' median (40% of GDP) but external debt service is lower than peers' due to favourable post-restructuring repayment conditions. The short tenor of domestic debt limits fiscal financing flexibility. -Sustained GDP growth. Fitch expects GDP growth to reach 3.5% in 2013 and 4% by 2015 (from 2.9% in 2012), supported by a gradual recovery in the eurozone and continued expansion into new markets. Seychelles has offset recent weakness in traditional European tourist arrivals with an increase in new tourism markets from Asia (+29% in the first six months of 2013, +57% from China) and the Gulf (+22% from the UAE). Unemployment is low, at about 2%, due to job opportunities in the tourism sector. -High level of economic and human development. GDP per capita, at USD13,000, is much higher than peers', reflecting a high value-added economy and a favourable business environment. Scores on UN human development indicators and World Bank governance indicators are also much higher than those of peers. RATING SENSITIVITIES The main factors that could lead to an upgrade are: -Continued reduction in public-sector debt due to fiscal discipline and structural reforms, including the adjustment of utility prices to cost recovery levels. -Enhanced credibility of the macroeconomic framework by establishing a track record of moderate inflation and greater confidence in the flexible exchange rate regime to absorb shocks without threatening price and financial stability. -Continued increase in external liquidity through rising foreign exchange reserves. Increasing reserves is key to improving confidence in the currency given a large current account deficit and as a buffer to meet public external debt service which will start to rise from 2013. -Sustained GDP growth underpinned by continuing structural reforms to improve the business environment and diversify the economy. Lower dependence on Western Europe, through diversification of tourist arrivals as successfully initiated in 2012, would also support the ratings. The current Outlook is Positive. Consequently, Fitch's sensitivity analysis does not currently anticipate developments with a material likelihood of leading to a rating downgrade. However, any reversal of fiscal reforms or relaxation of expenditure control would be rating- negative. KEY ASSUMPTIONS Despite recent diversification, Seychelles'' main tourism market remains Europe, and especially eurozone countries (France and Italy). Fitch expects eurozone growth to gradually recover to 1.3% in 2015 from -0.6% in 2013. Seychelles' current account payments are dependent on commodity prices, and especially oil. Fitch expects oil prices to remain in a range of USD100-105/barrel between now and 2015. Fitch's current judgement is that the authorities will continue to enforce fiscal discipline in a way consistent with their debt reduction target of 50% of GDP by 2018. 

 http://www.reuters.com

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A Place Of Worship Named After An Autocrat

Port Victoria: Upon directives of Dr. Shaikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Advisor to the UAE President, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan bin Khalifa opened on Friday the Shaikh Sultan Bin Khalifa mosque in Seychelles in the presence of Jean-Paul Adam, the island’s Foreign Minister and Dick Patrick Esparon Seychelles’ Ambassador to the UAE.
The mosque, which accommodates 600 male and female worshippers and a centre for holy Quran memorisation, was a donation from Shaikh Sultan to the Quran and Sunnah Association, which sponsors nearly 2,000 Muslims.
In his opening sermon, the mosque imam paid gratitude to the UAE leadership for the noble humanitarian gesture.

 http://gulfnews.com



Saturday, 26 October 2013

Seychelles Offshore On It's Death Bed As Lack Of Credible Policing Is Exposed

Steve Fanny kicked the bucket at the Ministry of Finance last month. Mr Fanny is famous for his involvement in the Seychelles Offshore sector as a CEO of Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA). For years we watched Mr Fanny tell us where the offshore sector was, where it is going, with exuberance, only to now see that the Seychelles offshore is dying, because all these years Mr Fanny was at SIBA, not a single person or company has been brought to trial for criminally using offshore companies to commit illicit acts such as money laundering, drug trafficking, arms dealing, etc. Only one company Lotus offshore had its licence suspended and Zen Offshore. Lawyers involved in these offshore company registration businesses, still practice law.
Steve Fanny

4th Pillar Of Economy Dead
The single idea of establishing Seychelles as an offshore sector belongs to one man: Mr Paul B. Chow. Credit to you Mr Chow on this good idea, left in SPPF hands, has now gone to rot. On the outset of 1992-1993, Mr Chow worked diligently to convenience the SPPF that the offshore sector is a viable economic base for Seychelles to develop. He was right of course. In Bermuda, the offshore sector, run scrupulously, has afforded its people a per capita income of $77,000 per year. Impressive, indeed.
Hamilton, Bermuda
In Seychelles the offshore sector has been marred with money laundering allegations, mis-management, lack of transparency and lack of due diligence in the administration and monitoring of offshore companies by SIBA, mostly, under the reign of Mr Fanny. Sometimes, you need to think carefully, when you let a fast talker on SBC to brainwash the Nation.

SFP Exposes Over $17 Billion In Allegedly Laundered Money From Seychelles
While many went to sleep in the opposition parties of SNOUP, because there own players are involved in the offshore business, and they collect the crumbs from money laundering escapades, the SFP has exposed all that it can expose, to expose the Seychelles offshore sector for not abiding by international norms.

$2.5 Billion Laundered
It was Christopher Gill that exposed the missing $2.5 Billion that left Seychelles accounts, held by Seychellois citizens, and made there way into Swiss accounts. SFP is still diligently tracking these funds and is seeking the assistance of the Swiss  Central Bank to reveal all these transactions.
James Michel offshore account active since 2007
2000 Shell Bank Companies
It was SFP that exposed the 2000 shell companies responsible for laundering Russian Mafia money as much as $400 Million




SINALOA Drug Cartel-Seychelles Connection
It was SFP that exposed the laundering of SINALOA Mexican drug cartel company money with use of Seychelles companies possibly amounting to £1 billion or more.

Arms Trafficking and Seychelles Connection
Seychelles companies were exposed for attempted trafficking in arms from North Korea to Iran. Iran is the arch rival of the United Arab Emirates, home of Shiekh Kalifa. The irony of this shipment, is that it had surface to air missiles loaded on a C130 plane, that may or may not be used to kill Shiekh Kalifa in the UAE or in Seychelles, if the Middle East was brought to war. This is a concern of the UAE, which they never thought, that James Michel Administration, would allow Seychelles companies offshore to go unfettered in their actions, with the final outcome targerting UAE.

Obama Sends Alert On Seychelles
Even President Obama, USA has gotten into the act of exposing and attempting to bring some order to this offshore mess created by SPPF. He noticed that Stella Port- Louis, a Seychelles national turns up as nominee for over 200 shell companies. This Madam, is also involved in many of the above mentioned companies as a nominee. It is strange every political element in Seychelles has remained silent on this matter.
The culprit, Stella Port-Louis
Enter OECD Demands
If the lack of administration and over sight has destroyed the Seychelles offshore name, it is the call for oversight monitoring by the OECD that will restore credibility to Seychelles although it will now perhaps a lifetime. Thank you SPPF-PL. Mr Fanny can be hardly blamed in the long and short of it. You promoted him to Ministry of Finance and told us he did an excellent job at SIBA. So the buck stops on James Michel's table the greatest human being to grace Africa, according to People paper.
James Michel
OECD wants Seychelles to now implement Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDDS). Under the system, international business centres must submit a quarterly report to the OECD of offshore activities. If the country does not do so, it can affect the countries ability to borrow money overseas.

The Whole Suffers When Corruption Reigns
With pressure bearing down from OECD the implementation of SDDS will kill overnight the Seychelles offshore sector. This will affect arrivals for business in the country, it will affect hotels, taxi drivers, lawyers income will slump since they diverted from their traditional practice into offshore, corporate service companies will shut down and staff will be laid off. In a world, the entire country will now overnight, suffer from years and years, of unmonitored offshore companies that now been exposed to be part of money laundering, arms trafficking, drug cartel money washing, and so on.



Who To Blame?
Who to blame? PL is now blaming OECD for its measures, yet, it has signed its memorandum to comply. The SNOUP is jumping on this bandwagon to protect its lawyers, who are also guilty of encouraging money laundering practice in Seychelles offshore.
Blame can only rest on the leadership of the country, because the rot is so prolific. It will take serious leadership to navigate out of this quagmire, but for the next ten years, it is already too late.
We must all tip our hats to Mr Paul B. Chow, the real founder of the Seychelles Offshore sector. Without his effort back in 1992-1993, we would have never come this far, inspite of SPPF-PL royally screwing it all up.

Seselwa Unite!

Sesel Pou Seselwa!

May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!            


   

Monday, 21 October 2013

Seychelles Government In Deep Trouble With The United Nations

21 October 2013 – Noting Seychelles’ efforts to develop a marine-based economy while reducing ocean degradation and alleviating poverty, an independent United Nations human rights expert today urged greater attention to teaching skills in the ‘blue economy.’
Following his first visit to the country, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, said that technical and vocational education and training, and collaboration with industry and enterprises “must be strengthened to ensure that the Seychellois acquire the skills and competencies needed to build the nation.”
He noted a lack of dedicated, training teachers, a trend he called “very alarming” and said that the profession “is not attractive enough” for the quality education needed.
“If the quality of education is to improve, measures must be taken to restore the esteem of the profession, as well as teaching conditions, to ensure the best students are attracted to teaching,” Mr. Singh said, warning that recent gains made in education are at risk if the crisis in teaching recruitment is not urgently addressed.
During his eight-day visit to the Seychelles, which started on 14 October, Mr. Singh met with President James Michel and other senior Government officials, as well as representatives of civil society, teachers, and students.
“The active participation of all sectors of civil society, including teachers, students, their parents and communities, is vital for a well-functioning national education system,” the UN independent expert said during visits to primary and secondary schools and public universities on the main island of Mahé.
Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes. Mr. Singh will present his report to the Council in June 2014.
Among the recommendations expected in his report will be continued support for the President’s National Renaissance Program.
“This program provides a blueprint on how the serious social issues being faced by children at home and in schools can be addressed, but it can only succeed if parents and communities are actively engaged in dialogue and actions to find solutions together,” said Mr. Singh.
“Strengthening personal, social and civil education in schools, and enhancing discipline in schools, are important means of addressing this challenge.”

 http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=46296&Cr=seychelles&Cr1=#.UmWIhhAmNKs



Monday, 14 October 2013

Praslin And La Digue Boat Owners Being Sidelined In Port Deliberations

Threaten Shutdown To Destabilize Seychelles Overnight
Praslin and La Digue cargo boat operators, ferries, tourism excursion boats, excursion charter operations, were completely sideline in any discussions by the Seychelles Port Authority and Ministry of Transport as it brought into law new regulations that would increase fees for port usage of boats critical to inter island commerce, and as critical to the Seychelles Tourisn Industry.

The new fees and charges under S.I. 60 OF 2013 effective October the 1st, 2013, send the ferry and cargo industry into an immediate tail spin as they saw generations of sea farers from four main families: Grandcourt (Grand Anse Praslin), Lesperance-Rose (Baie Ste Anne Praslin), Adrienne (Baie Ste Anne Praslin), Durup ( La Passe La Digue) now faced with shutdown and an end of an era of Seychellois owned and captained sea service, because new proposal by the Ministry of Transportation would render all their businesses unprofitable and hence, open the door for an era of foreign own vessel to ply the routes of Mahe- Praslin, Mahe- La Digue and Praslin- La Digue.
For example, under new regulations of S.I. 60 of 2013, Cat Rose would pay ten times more than a foreign vessel of similar size for each boat. This cost would implicate Cat Cocos as well and a cost a ferry ticket would increase simultaneously on all ferries on all ferries. Ferrying would become a means of transportation in the past, and pirate taxi boat services between islands and pirate cargo shipping would ensue.

If implemented as it satands, this S.I. will turn Seychelles into the next Somalia in the region by one single act of law that would break the Seychellois sea fairer backs once and for all.

Grandcourt fleet would pay 80 times more than a foreign vessel, rendering inter island cargo a thing of the past. In no time, hotels would have to secure additional unregistered vessels to carry cargo, to survive. 

Big Turnover But No Profits
Already these businesses hand over 52% of all their revenues to the Government of Seychelles, it is arguable that the figure can be 60% when tax on fuel is considered and vessel depreciation and they  average a meanger profit of 5%-7.2% per year in the best case scenario. No one works for 5%, not even a waitress.

But Mr Durup, Mr Rose, Mr Grandcourt, are working for 5%,not because they want to but because of their love of the sea and country, which is in their bloodline, passed on, from generation, to generation. Take the plying  of the sea from them and the service they provide our communities, they perish as proud Seychellois and so do we.

I believe these ship companies may be making more like a profit of 2% or -5%  when the depreciation of the vessels, vehicles, equipment is considered. If they can pay their salaries in today's environment, they are fortunate.

With such low margins, it is not possible for these seafarers to absorb any additional costs the Port Authority is levying on them and the Tourism Industry in Seychelles. Praslin and La Digue is already suffering from the drop in receivables from the 2007 world recession and financial crisis, Seychelles IMF program and two maybe more shark attacks in 2010. Hotel room prices on Praslin are still 50% of what they used to be and Government of Seychelles has licensed foolishly over 400 houses as tourism establishments that do not bank their money or pay taxes. Many of these owners of these establishments are vacant estate house owners.

Lemuria hotel is offering pay one and get one night free to lure visitors to Praslin. Can Praslin Hero offer "pay one container get one container free", when each trip cost SCR 16,000 in fuel, and it can take only four containers at a time? Do the maths and do the numbers, there is no wiggle space for the ships.

Praslin is on sale for 50% off because Praslin is dying.

Soon La Digue will follow then what will happen to Mahe?

Without these two tourist anchor attractions running well, all of Seychelles will move into a depression of economic activity. When this happens, how many years will it take to get back on track? We have wasted seven years already, by not handling our Tourism Industry in a serious manner. How many more public houses will we have to build because we are a generation of losers, when we have all that we need to succeed, but we need to be careful with what we have, much like a Ferrari in the hands of someone who has not driven one ever. Driving a car and driving a Ferrari are not the same experience.

Zero Population Growth Praslin - La Digue
To make matter worse, Praslin is no longer growing in permanent population numbers, this puts a greater burden on all businesses and shipping and ferry companies operating on Praslin. With less population, comes less commerce, less cargo, less ferry seats being occupied per trip. Less airline seats are sold, and the cargo and port facilities become under utilized much like we see with the Praslin domestic terminal.

Snoozing Taxi Service On Praslin
This terminal has turned into a virtual white elephant. Taxi drivers sit around most of the day for one morning trip and perhaps one late afternoon trip. The restaurant is hardly ever working, or busy. The Port Authority needs to study this carefully because the situation at the Praslin airport is now clocking in six years, and PL is doing nothing to change this decaying status.

With less population there is less amount of people to fill posts and meet labor requirements. This is a stark reality that today, government must conduct a research to put facts and figures to the reality before agencies like the Port Authority move on any project for these islands. With statistics analysis we can have a better picture of where we are going, and we will know, how we will get there. We cannot move forward blindly with people's investment in their country.

New Port Facility Put No Business Confidence In Seychelles
The Ports Authority took time to present a very ambitious proposal for La Digue and Praslin Port Services, given the economic downturn and slow performance of the Seychelles economy. We were doing -4% GDP in 2010. We went to 2% in 2011 and 2012 we registered 3.2%. Because this includes donation from friendly countries, it is not a picture of growing productivity.

With the existing need to raise our national reserve, government has been curtailing capital projects like the Port Authority expansion, and leaving it up to the Authority to finance itself, and secondly, government is expecting that Ports contribution to debt repayment once it has financed itself. This is a tall order. Why?

Seychelles Underperforming For IMF Numbers
The IMF said that in order for Seychelles to successfully meet its debt obligations, the economy will have to run at 7-8% per year. We are far from that. In fact we are 40% of where we should be. If we are 40% where we should be, the Port is 40% where it should be.

Bad Land Policy Reduces Port Activity
The primary reason why we are far from the mis-use of critical time by the PL Administration. PL has been caught up in a timeless era of having no real land policy in place to give confidence in the markets, and the recent Land Use fiasco with ridiculous zoning laws will send Seychelles into dark ages overnight.

No port expansion can ever be realized with no investor confidence in Seychelles, or no investor confidence for La Digue or Praslin.

PL, i suggest you fellows get your act on the road, or join the SAMOANS Circus. Get serious fellows, this is no clown show. If you keep this show going, AL QAEDA will start knocking on your doors as one person suggested. I am trying to keep people sensible but i am losing the battle because you fellows are losing your senses.

Port Authority Has No Business Plan For Expansion
What shocked me in this meeting with the Ports Authority and the boat owners, is that after all the proposals the Ports Authority put forward for these great dream and visionary ideas was that the Ports Authority had no Business Plan to explain to the boaters, how they intended to realize these grand dreams and aspirations. It was all in pictures (Autokad program) and nothing on paper to explain how it will be financed. Beyond the pictures and layouts, it all looked very vague.

In 2013 there is no way to move forward.

How much will each expansion set cost? Ports Authority has no clue.

Where will the money come from? No idea. They were expecting some money from these failing businesses of course. Do not expect much.

How many tourist per year will we need to meet this demand? Not even considered.

Where will we get the fishermen to use this facility? No idea that there are no more fishermen in Praslin, a definite dying vocation. Confirmed with the Charitas Phuta case in court with a SCR 50 million cache of drugs found under salted fish.

Where will we getthe customers for the ferries if the population is decreasing? Each day, a ferry plies with a single empty seat, it is a revenue for the operator and government lost forever....forever. Now, count how much revenue we lose everyday from lack of adequate planning.

How will we pay for all these dreams when the current one, putting food on the table and buying fuel is failing already?

These are some of the questions a business plan could answer.

I have some solid ideas on how to pay for this port expansion, but i will keep it to myself for now until PL shows it has some respect for opponents to its failing regime, which is crumbling, much like old Port Victoria pier, everyday.

I salute the effort of Col. Ciseau and his team, it is not their fault, that our country is in the mess it is in, they are trying to help fix the mess and patch up the port where they can.

We need to dig deeper of course, right Minister Morgan? After all it was you who ran SBC to advise of the new rates, which you said you spoke to the Tuna Boats owners, but did not mention the cargo ships and ferries that ply the waters between Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.

That is indeed a big detail to miss!

But Minister Morgan is the Minister of Transportation, and we have missed a few airlines on the tarmac already, nothing new.

Seselwa Unite!

Sesel Pou Seselwa!

May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois! 
Written by Christopher Gill, Leader of Seychelles Freedom Party.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

A New York, Jerandi demande à Adam d'extrader Sakhr El-Matri

La demande d'extradition des symboles de l'ancien régime, en vertu d'une commission rogatoire émise à cet effet, était au centre de l'entretien qu'a eu le ministre des Affaires étrangères, Othman Jerandi, en marge de sa participation à la 68e Assemblée générale de l'ONU à New York, avec son homologue seychellois, Jean-Paul Adam.

Selon un communiqué du ministère des Affaires étrangères rendu public vendredi, Othman Jerandi a évoqué au cours de cet entretien le mandat d'arrêt international émis à l'encontre de Sakhr El-Matri (gendre du président déchu Ben Ali) auquel les autorités seychelloises avaient accordé un permis de résidence de 12 mois.

Othman Jerandi a rappelé la position de la Tunisie dénonçant cette décision contraire au texte de la convention Interpol et en opposition aux efforts de la Tunisie visant à instaurer la justice transitionnelle, indique le communiqué.

Jerandi a, à cet égard, appelé les autorités des Seychelles à prendre en considération les arguments solides avancés par le gouvernement tunisien à cet effet, soulignant l'importance de cette question pour le peuple tunisien et l'avenir de la transition démocratique en Tunisie.

Pour sa part, le ministre seychellois des Affaires étrangères a indiqué que les autorités de son pays saisissent parfaitement la position de la Tunisie, soulignant sa disposition à réexaminer le dossier de Sakhr El-Materi. Comprendre par-là que les Seychellois n'extraderont pas Sakhr El-Matri en Tunisie, parce que, concrètement, il est plus utile pour eux que leurs relations avec la Tunisie. Il ne faut pas se voiler la face.

http://www.webmanagercenter.com/actualite/societe/2013/09/28/140608/tunisie-seychelles-a-new-york-jerandi-demande-a-adam-d-extrader-sakhr-el-matri

Friday, 11 October 2013

United Nations Representative Evaluating The Right To Education In Seychelles

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 11, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Education reforms and the education of vulnerable children are among the issues to be assessed in the Republic of Seychelles by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, during his official visit to the country from 14 to 21 October 2013.
“This mission will allow us to assess the efforts undertaken by Seychelles to implement the right to education, the measures adopted for its successful realization, and the obstacles encountered at the national level,” said Mr. Singh, announcing the first visit to the country by an independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the right to education.
The UN expert will also evaluate the recent reform programs adopted by the Seychelles Government on education issues, with a view towards evaluating practical lessons relevant to small island states, including a perspective on the post-2015 education agenda.
The Special Rapporteur, who will visit primary and secondary schools and public universities, will meet with high level Government authorities as well as civil society representatives, including NGOs. He will also hold discussions with educators, academics, students and teachers’ representatives. The mission will take him to the main island of Mahé.
Based on the findings and discussions during the visit, the Special Rapporteur will present a report to the Human Rights Council in 2014.
A press conference will be held on 21 October 2014 at 14.00 in Conference Room 2 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maison Quéau de Quinssy, Mont Fleuri, Mahé, where the Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary impressions.

 http://en.starafrica.com/news/first-visit-to-seychelles-of-the-un-special-rapporteur-on-the-right-to-education.html

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

St Ange Back In Seychelles Empty-Handed

Tourism Australia was declared the overall winner of the World Routes Awards 2013 which were formally announced at the Garden of the Gods at Caesars Palace. This was for Tourism Destination. The nominated countries for this category were:- Tourism Australia, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, Turismo de Tenerife, Republic of Turkey – Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Seychelles Tourism Board.
Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture who was personally in Las Vegas for the 2013 World ROUTES meeting said he was honoured to have again seen Seychelles nominated for the Destination category. “We are small when compared to the other countries nominated, but we can say we are walking tall with these giants with our head high” the Seychelles Minister said to the press at the Garden of the Gods at Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas.

Seychelles is one country where tourism remains the pillar of its economy. The Government of these mid-ocean islands have long recognised the importance of tourism and some two years ago created a fully fledged Ministry responsible for Tourism. “Our tourism industry is working today more than ever before. We are small in size and budget, this we know and accept, but we work hard to remain relevant in the world of tourism and to remain visible. On a year to date basis we are recording an increase of 13% in visitor arrival numbers and this positive result has scenario has been repeated year after year since 2009 when the Seychelles relaunched its tourism industry with a new approach called the Seychelles Brand of Tourism. Today this approach is bringing result because through this brand we ensure that our people are directly involved in their country’s tourism industry. This is why the people of Seychelles support and defend their tourism industry” Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles said.

The Seychelles Minister went on to spell out that Seychelles prides itself of not only the exceptional beauty of its 115 islands made up of both flat coral islands and of lush mountain clad granitic ones, but also of its diversity in population called the Seychelles Creoles united as one people.

On the successes in the field of tourism Minister Alain St.Ange said that he cannot look at tourism figures of Australia or of the USA as all is relative. “We can say that ours is working because of our Tourism Master Plan drawn up from a bottom up approach after lengthy consultative meetings. Today we see that our visitor arrival numbers are over two and a half times of our total population and over five times our adult workforce. We are see tourism retaining its position as the pillar of our country’s economy. These indicators show that our industry is working for us, for our economy and for our people” Seychelles Minister St.Ange said.

The World ROUTES Award winners are decided by a panel of judges made up of senior members of the airline network planning community. The 2013 panel consisted of the following experts:

- Mr. Rick Wagstaffe, Vice President Procurement & Logistics (Airline) for Emirates

- Mr. Marcus Siebenschuh, Manager Network Planning Commercial Frankfurt for Lufthansa

- Mr. Andrew Buchanan, Managing Director, International Planning for United Airlines

- Mr. Jose Montero, Senior Vice President of Finance & CFO of COPA Airlines

- Mr. Chee Khuan Liew, VP, Network & LT Planning for Malaysia Airlines

- Mr. Mark Kopczak, Vice President, Network Planning for Spirit Airlines

- Mr. Keith Green, Manager Network Planning for South African Airways

- Mr. Lukas Johnson, Vice President, Network and Pricing for Allegiant Air

http://www.travelandtourworld.com

Monday, 7 October 2013

Fitch Warns Pierre Laporte and PL To be Careful‏

Seychelles Junk Rating : "B" Positive.

Fitch credit rating agency recently reaffirmed its Seychelles rating with a "B" (Junk, high risk) outlook.
Fitch noted that the rating is cautioned and that Government of Seychelles must stick to its marco economic program or Fitch will further down grade Seychelles Credit Rating.
Such a rating is a result of tight fiscal policy, and tight monetary policy, which has led to a reserve of $380 Million, the highest ever achieved in Seychelles which at one point had less then $2Million in the Central Bank, and we defaulted on a $3 Million payout on Lehman Brothers Bonds.
The tea boy at the IMF

The rating confirms Seychelles remains a high risk or Junk rating as a country for investment.

Pierre Laporte In Lala Land

On SBC, Pierre Laporte, the Minister for Finance, went off giving a heavy winded speech to the SBC journalist about this great rating and "above average" country rating, as if he was trying to fool James Michel to say: look papa, I got a "B", Above Average, I am smart. Indeed Laporte has done a prudent job up to know mostly, but the rating still leaves Seychelles in JUNK rating meaning HIGH RISK investment center. Relying on only Khalifa does not help this rating move upwardly. Continued supplementary budgets and over spending does not help. Though public external debt is down from 179% of GDP to 79% of GDP, we still have a growing private debt sector that has tagged Seychelles with another 100% debt on GDP. So basically, as Fitch put it, caution is called for to stay the course, and they will be watching carefully. We are in fact just going around in circles. Nothing personal about that Mr. Laporte, and we are not trying to fabricate facts. We are just stating facts accurately, for what they are. You should do the same if you are a responsible person.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Seychelles Democratic State Credentials fall into The Abyss‏

No sooner than Seychelles received a dubious award from South African Development Community through Danny Faure, and things started to look impressive for the Communist PL regime, the Seychelles Police made a blunder of blunders early Monday morning in Victoria, and arrested, detained, Mr Ralph Volcere who walk to town, sporting a mobile phone in hand and a placard on shoulders saying: "Annou Repran Nou Pei" translated into English: Let's take back our Country" or "Let's Do A Coup". 
The Inference the Police drew from this is Mr Volcere advocating a Coup and they took these words to be incitement to violence and incitement to treason.
If Mr Volcere had a AK47 in hand, instead of a mobile phone (Nokia), the Police may have a case. They have no case of course. The calls were made not to people holding guns, but to people holding other placards.

Gurhkas Surround Seychellois in Victoria
In no time a number of Gurhkas surrounded the area where Mr Volcere was sitting with his placard. Arresting Mr Volcere, is irrelevant to the furtherance of Democracy, it does the opposite and destroys Democracy. I cannot understand, why would PL have Mr Volcere arrested for a free speech issue. In this act Seychelles credentials for democratic practice have fallen to a low point. Why is PL afraid to let everyone have their say?

Election Round Table Circus

This very issue of public protest and public gatherings was debated heavily in the Election Round Table. SFP under my leadership, pushed that PL suspend the existing Public Order Act which Mr Volcere has been arrested under. SFP pushed that the law be revoked immediately before any other issue be discussed before the the Election Reform Round Table. SNP opposed this. DP, led by Volcere opposed this proposal as well. Today, again, Mr Volcere pays the price for defying logic and common sense practice when dealing with a criminal regime. While SFP boycott these proceedings that today jail Mr Volcere, SNP and DP gave PL the benefit of the doubt, played along with them, and now we have no new laws, no new Public Order Act, and Mr Volcere is arrested under the same law that we all knew, has been amended, kept in place, to placate opponents to a communist regime.

We Cannot Participate On A Playing Field That Is Not Levelled
We cannot participate on a playing field that is not level. Simple. The playing field in Seychelles politics was suppose to be levelled 20 years ago. Today, what do we see? We see the same old regime, using the same old laws, to stifle the same type of free speech they stifled 25-30 years ago. Nothing has changed. This is the grand failure of not just PL, but ex lead opposition, the SNP and DP. They have all failed Seychelles to deliver to her people, the promises and gifts of Democracy. This statement is backed by numerous Commonwealth Recommendations and contents of the Rhiley Report in 2006.

Boycott And Civil Disobedience Is The Only Strategy Lft
When oppresive regime uses power to stay in power, when they use colonial laws to supress Freedom of Speech, when opponents to a regime are marginalized to only facebook, blogs, and have no access to the national broadcast media to pass on their ideas to the people, to encourage national involvement, and participation,the only route is: 1. Full on Boycott; 2. Calculated Civil Disobedience of that which is unjust. In fact, as Nelson Mandela has stated, it is our obligation as opponents of unjust regimes, to Boycott and enter into a period of Civil Disobedience and non cooperation with those policies which are unjust.
The SNP and DP have opposed this stance by SFP up until now.
SFP is waiting for them to join us in a program of Boycott and Civil Disobedience, to deal with this unjust rule by the communists in Seychelles.
But first, you all must promise to stop all that extortion stuff with foreign Mafia and drug trafficking with PL that hurts Seychelles, more than you can imagine.

Seselwa Unite!

Sesel Pou Seselwa!

May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois.
Written by Christopher Gill, Leader of Seychelles Freedom Party.