The first half of 2018 saw Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Seychelles reach USD 60.1 million, a 56% growth vs. the same period in 2017. This was achieved during a period where the short-term prospect for FDI growth was deemed gloomy by United Nation Conference on Trade and Investment (UNCTAD). Global FDI flows for the same period dropped by 41%, to an estimated USD 470 billion from USD 794 billion in the same period in 2017. In contrast, the Seychelles 2018 FDI forecast currently stands at USD 139 million, a 0% growth vs. 2017; showing a stabilisation in FDI flow when compared to the year-on-year decline since 2015. This is well in line with FDI flow for Africa which will remain flat for the period 2018 - 2019 following a downward trend. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which is currently in the process of ratification, aims to contribute to this trend.
FDI remains the largest and most stable source of development finance in developing economies, and Seychelles is no exception. Encouraging productive investments by private sector helps to advance national development goals and the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) is the public institution that is mandated to support investment facilitation, private sector developments, procedural administration, stakeholder coordination and engagement, service provision and promotion under the Seychelles Investment Act in achieving this objective. In order to do so, SIB remains a committed partner to all investors wishing to open a business or expand an existing business in Seychelles.
Seychelles has made strides in creating investor-friendly conditions by implementing the Seychelles Investment Policy, signing multiple Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs), gaining preferential tax terms for local businesses and businesses registered in Seychelles doing business overseas and Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs). The country’s DTAAs, as well as the other bilateral trade agreements the Seychelles has entered into, are continually reviewed to ensure that their provisions encourage international trade and investments, and provide investors with increased certainty over their tax treatment; reduce the scope for double taxation of income and capital; improve profits and reduce risks. Lastly, in Seychelles, the notion of Intellectual Property (IP) Rights is taken very seriously, which is why the country is a signatory to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. Seychelles has put in place a comprehensive intellectual property regime under the Industrial Property Act, 2014 and the Copyright Act 2014.