En Moman Avek Prezidan-Businesses urged to be more responsible


President Michel speaking during the programmeMr Michel was speaking during the En Moman avek Prezidan programme aired on SBC TV yesterday evening.

The President was referring to the recent depreciation of the rupee which had required the intervention of the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) to stabilise the situation.

“In spite of what has happened, our economy is still stable and investors are still maintaining their confidence,” the President added.

Mr Michel explained that since the country embarked on economic reforms in 2008, a free market economy was adopted whereby the Central Bank no longer determines the exchange and interest rates.

He also highlighted various factors which have contributed to the depreciation of the rupee during the past months. These include the depreciation of the euro in relation to the dollar, increases in the price of fuel and basic imported commodities as well as speculation on the domestic market which have all contributed to increase pressure on the rupee.

Mr Michel noted that the timely intervention of the CBS to stabilise the situation, a normal thing to happen, has helped the rupee to start appreciating again.

Meanwhile the President has reminded banks and bureaux de change operators that speculating on foreign currencies carries a high risk of them losing lots of money as have been the case in the past week after the CBS intervened by using money from its reserves to stall the declining value of the rupee.

He stressed that the important thing in a free market economy is to be able to adjust where necessary every time the need arises to ensure the economy remains on track.

Asked if the money used by the CBS, taken from the country’s reserves, will not derail our economic reforms with regard to CBS reserves targets set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mr Michel reassured everyone that the reforms are on track and there is no turning back.

“The reforms the country embarked on have brought lots of benefits, we have seen lots of progress and we can foresee more gains in the future and so there is no turning back. The reforms are on track and this has been confirmed by the IMF mission and also the director of the African Department of the IMF who were recently in the country,” said Mr Michel.

The President said Seychelles has been praised for the way it has managed the reforms and keep them on track. He added that we will continue to build on the country’s reserves so that we are prepared to face any eventuality and volatility which are based not only on what happens here but also on various external shocks.

Mr Michel further stressed that the role of the government remains one of facilitator and to ensure the right environment and favourable climate for business development exist.
“It is the private sector which is the driving force behind economic development and it is for this reason that the government is always seeking to put in place the right structures and framework to make the environment more conducive for business to develop,” he added.

Mr Michel said this will allow more Seychellois to start their own business and for those already in business to develop further and expand their activities.