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The deputy CEO of Seychelles Investment Board (SIB), Mr Lenny Gabriel participated in an online Zoom interview with PRISMA reports on Friday 16 April. PRISMA reports is the exclusive representative of ‘Foreign policy’ for producing investment-related special reports that prioritise on some of the most interesting markets and business partners of the United States.

Questions from Laila Bastati, the interviewing journalist covered the impact of COVID-19 on the Seychelles’ businesses and investments, potential opportunities for US investments, FDI inflow and priority areas for the Seychelles Investment Board in 2021 and beyond.

Mr Gabriel explained that while COVID-19 hit the Seychelles hard economically and financially, it also exposed new opportunities for economic recovery, such as in the fisheries sector. He highlighted that the pandemic has forced businesses to become more innovative and resilient.

The deputy CEO stressed that the Seychelles Investment Board’s priorities are geared towards looking for new business opportunities which will enable diversification of the economy. These priorities, namely fisheries, agriculture and tourism, are directly aligned with Government’s priorities.

Mr Gabriel welcomed the idea of US investors in the Seychelles, saying that now is the best time for them to invest, seeing that Seychelles’ USP for stability is still attractive, and tourism’s and fisheries’ value adding prospects are high on the agenda.

The deputy CEO of SIB reiterated the need to streamline investment processes, enabling greater efficiency and enhanced service delivery. He mentioned the ‘regulatory sandbox license’ project, which will set a framework for standards and guidelines for investors, as one example of strengthening the investment facilitation process.

Refreshing channels’ communications and ramping up promotions to keep investors abreast of developments in Seychelles form part of the agency’s current strategy. He expressed optimism in the FDI inflow for 2021, and the potential reactivation of investments that were on hold, rather than cancelled in 2020.

Asked whether Seychelles can bounce back from the effects of COVID-19, Mr Gabriel said that the country can certainly bounce back, and this time it will bounce back stronger and more resilient.