Ministry moves to boost ease of doing business


Mr Laporte (second from right) chairing the committee’s first session yesterday

He chaired its first session at Liberty House yesterday, telling representatives of relevant bodies that
the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank’s list of 183 economies puts Seychelles in position 103 up from rank 109 last year where ease of doing business is concerned, “which is not bad but we can improve on this”.

He and delegates present said a number of moves are being taken to improve the situation, where ease of resolving disputes, access to credit and employment of skilled labour from overseas are concerned.

Mr Laporte said steps to start an economic court are advanced and it is about to start soon with the chief justice hearing cases helped by another judge.

Some local banks are also proposing better lending terms, he said, singling out Barclays Bank which he said has extended repayment for housing loans to 25 years.

Immigration officials said it is taking as short as three days to get work permit for certain sectors like tourism, but some delegates hoped a standard time will soon be possible regardless of the sector concerned.

Some urged the department to ensure that people to sort out urgent work permit needs are available all the time, “for example if an expert from overseas is needed to work on a failed power generator during the weekend”.

Mr Laporte said the forum he launched yesterday is not a replacement to another meeting former Finance Minister, Vice-President Danny Faure, will continue to chair monthly.

“Today’s meeting was meant to initiate the process of regular consultations on business environment issues,” said Mr Laporte, noting the business portfolio now falls under the trade aspect of his ministry.

“The Vice-President will continue to chair the high level meeting on a monthly basis but to make things move and continue to move fast enough I have thought it a good idea that we meet at least once a week to work on certain actions the World Bank and local authorities have agreed be taken,” he said.

He said some of the steps need to be taken within six months and other within six to 18 months, adding he has launched the weekly meetings based on previous experience, for example of some economic reform task teams where key parties driving given actions have been meeting once a week and briefing the main committee on progress in specified areas.

“We need to know if what we agree be done within specified time is done and if no action has been taken we need to know why and agree when and how we will overcome the obstacles preventing the desired actions to be taken,” he said, expressing hope the committee members will offer their support.

He said the business environment in Seychelles is far from satisfactory with too many bottlenecks and constraints which make people unhappy, a situation his ministry would like to correct.

“We want those who enter business in Seychelles to go out there and say things in Seychelles happen efficiently.”

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