Foreign Direct Investments vital contributors to our economy – VP Faure


29-May-2013

He said in order to do that it is important that we  continue to follow macro-economic and financial policies the country have adopted. 

Mr Faure said this in the National Assembly yesterday morning while answering an urgent question by the leader of government business Marie-Antoinette Rose.

Together with the Minister for Environment and Energy Rolph Payet, Vice-President Faure, who was replacing Finance, Trade and Investment Minister Pierre Laporte and Tourism and Culture Minister Alain St Ange, answered Ms Rose’s question which was related to two tourism development projects being proposed for Grand Police and Cap Ternay.
Ms Rose had asked the ministers to explain;

• the government’s position and policy with regard to Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in the country especially in relation to the two proposed projects;

• if the impact assessments of the two projects are taking into account environmental concerns being raised;

• if access to the beaches in the area of the proposed projects -- either by foot or by boat -- is being guaranteed;

• if the tourism industry would be able to fill the hotel rooms and what is being planned to sustain occupancy of the hotels being proposed.

Mr Faure said macro-economic and financial policies are sound policies which are providing results.

He noted that the issue of more investments for Seychelles is not new and was widely addressed around the time government took the decision to allow the construction of four large hotels namely Banyan Tree, Kempinski, Ephilia and Four Seasons.

“The hotels are example why the government took the right decision to attract investments for their construction,” said Mr Faure.
Mr Faure further stressed that today the four hotels alone are contributing some R255 million in terms of taxes and this is equivalent to more than half the total budget of the Health Ministry for this year, which is R496 million. He went on to explain that the four hotels together employ over a thousand employees.

“It is important that investments are taken very seriously. Investments are forecast in the macro-economic framework prepared by the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investment and the projections are clear. It is important that over US $130 million forecast for the next three years enter the system in order for the country to sustain its economy and increase economic growth so as to continue to improve the lives of our people and reinforce Seychelles’ position as a country which is continuing to do well for its people,” said Mr Faure.

Mr Faure added that this year the country needs to find US $34 million to pay its debt, next year US $40 million and in 2015 another US $50 million has to be found.
He noted that with the five-year grace period ending next year, the country needs to have the necessary financial resources in foreign currency to continue honouring its obligations.
“Therefore it is important to have a clear and sound investment policy,” said Mr Faure.

He further stressed that we need investments which respect to all laws and regulations in the country.

“We need investments which reflect the government’s policies with regard to sustainable development.

Vice-President Faure went on to explain that the tourism sector is at present performing well, pointing out that for the first time the total contribution to the economy from tourism is over US $ 300 million, meaning the sector remains the most important to the country’s economy.

Mr Faure noted that this is the result of the collective effort and hard work of all the people and we cannot afford to adopt any policy and attitude which destroy such an investment in our country and our economy. He is calling on everyone to continue to support the development which is taking place and is being proposed.

As a result of the projects being proposed, Mr Faure noted that some 750 more rooms would be made available in the coming three years and explained that the number of flights entering the country can cope.

He noted that with the hotel occupancy rate standing at around 62% at present, a lot more work needs to be done to increase this rate and this should be in terms of reducing prices, upgrading the products on offer and improving services delivered.

Vice-President Faure said in order to have a tourism industry which is more unified as ever to better address the various challenges ahead, there is a need for a change of attitude and mindset to better address all issues concerning the industry.

Mr Faure stressed that people with money to invest seek countries which have favourable internal conditions for their investments.
“We should all feel proud that Seychelles is one of those countries in the region with such ideal and favourable conditions for investments,” said Mr Faure.

Seychelles Nation will come back on other points clarified by Vice-President Faure and Minister Rolph Payet regarding the two proposed developments.

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