US says Seychelles’ economy now vibrant


27-October-2011

Mr Fitrell“We are not talking about an International Monetary Fund regime here anymore, that was taken as an emergency measure, now we are into a new realm,” said Mr Fitrell when Nation asked him why the US’ interest in Seychelles has appeared to rise recently.

He talked of the opening up of the economy and greater trading relationships that are coming about in a future where Seychelles will hopefully see a decline of piracy but still be “talking about the export of tuna, imports of technology, desalination and renewable energy”.

Mr Fitrell noted the US and Seychelles are already talking about oil exploitation here.

“We would like to see Seychelles as one of the countries that have handled oil revenues in a way that benefits the entire nation and not in ways that have in some ways crippled the nations.

“People talk of the Petroleum Curse but I don’t think Norway or Scotland thinks of it as a curse, and neither does Canada. The US certainly doesn’t think of oil as a curse yet we are a major producer.”

He said the US is already helping Seychelles ensure the legal framework is good enough and the accounting system transparent enough and well managed so massive inflow of income do not lead to hyperinflation and the ecology does not suffer.

Getting these things before hand is a major and critical aspect to a major oil find, he said.

He said Seychelles oil is unlikely to reach the US market.
“What we would not like to see is our friend sink underneath a curse rather than enjoy the blessing.”

Mr Fitrell said Seychelles being a focal point for the fight against piracy is another reason for growing interest in the islands.

He agreed with those who say Seychelles is a major gateway to the world:

“All those ships heading up to the Suez Canal are serving Europe and the West in general so the piracy problem is not an African problem. It just happens in waters that are near Africa, and Seychelles has been in the lead in the problem and that is why the country is being highlighted,” he said.

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