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Local business community learn about Blue Finance Urged to invest in sustainable fisheries activities | 21 September 2019

Local business community learn about Blue Finance         Urged to invest in sustainable fisheries activities

The local business community on Thursday evening learned more about financing options for investment in the transition to sustainable fisheries.

They did so at a business cocktail hosted jointly by the Development Bank of Seychelles (DBS), Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Investment (SCCI), Seychelles Climate Change Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) and the Department of Blue Economy.

The cocktail, held at Hilton Northolme Seychelles Resort & Spa, presented a good opportunity to inform the business community about the Blue Investment Fund and Blue Grants Fund, two types of financing options available under Blue Finance, which seeks to empower the fisheries sector with robust knowledge and capacity to improve governance, sustainability, value and market options while also nurturing businesses to secure the sustainable development of Seychelles’ fisheries and aquaculture sector.

Through short presentations by representatives from SCCI, SeyCAAT, DBS and the Department of Blue Economy, the business community were informed of the Blue Investment Fund from DBS, which is capitalised by $12 million from the proceeds of the Blue Bond, and is intended to support the diversification and expansion of fisheries value chains in Seychelles. It has been designed to allow investments in value chains that are supported by managed fisheries, or investments in parts of the value chain that will add value without creating additional pressure on vulnerable fish populations.

Chief executive of DBS, Daniel Gappy, stated that one of the mandates is to strongly support the development and growth of the fisheries industry.

“As such, through this experience under the Blue Economy development framework, we are achieving this goal. In addition, we acknowledge that investors are really confident in DBS’ ability to provide them with the right financial support and personalised guidance under the Blue Investment Fund scheme,” he said.

The maximum loan amount disbursed by DBS is R42 million and the interest rate is set at 4 percent with a payback period of over 15 years. Potential applicants interested in the Blue Investment fund are being urged to start planning their projects as the call for proposal will be open twice a year for the next five years.

The Blue Investment Fund is complimented by the Blue Grant Fund of SeyCCAT which recently launched its third call for proposal, can provide grants for local enterprises to develop innovative business models before applying for a loan from the Blue Investment Fund.

The grants offer an opportunity to conduct feasibility studies, undertake research and development, implement pilot projects, develop market opportunities and build capacity. The two funds represent a unique approach to Blue Finance and complement public sector investments in transition to sustainable fisheries and development of the Blue Economy.

“We are ready to embark on a journey for innovation and bright ideas, and we are taking the risks with you,” said chief executive of SeyCCAT Angelique Pouponneau.

Guests were then invited to network and forward their questions to the representatives of the organisations present.

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