The economy of Seychelles is based on fishing, tourism, the processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture and beverages. Agricultural products include cinnamon, sweet potatoes, cassava (tapioca), bananas, poultry and tuna.
The public sector, comprising the government and state-owned enterprises, dominates the economy in terms of employment and gross revenue, employing two-thirds of the labor force. Government consumption absorbs over one-third of the GDP.
|Economy of Seychelles|
|GDP||GDP_PPP $2.761 billion|
|3.5% (2015), 4.5% (2016), |
4.2% (2017e), 4% (2018f) 
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.
The French originally settled the Seychelles in 1770, setting up plantations which relied heavily on slave labour to produce cotton, sugar, rice, and maize. The British took control of the Seychelles during the Napoleonic Wars without removing the French upper class.
After the British prohibited slavery in 1835, the influx of African workers did not end because British warships captured Arab slavers and forced the liberated slaves to work on plantations as apprentices without pay.
In the 1960s, about 33% of the working population worked at plantations, and 20% worked in the public or government sector.
Plantations were the main industry of the Seychelles until 1971, when the international airport opened. Overnight, tourism became a serious industry, basically dividing the economy into plantations and tourism. The tourism sector paid better, and the plantation economy could only expand so far.
The plantation sector of the economy declined in prominence, and tourism and fishing became the primary industries of Seychelles. In the 1960s, about 33% of the working population worked at plantations, but by 2006 it was less than 3%.
While the tourism and industrial fishing industries were on a roll in the late 1990s, the traditional plantation economy atrophied. Cinnamon barks and copra—traditional export crops—dwindled to negligible amounts by 1991. There were no exports of copra in 1996; 318 tons of cinnamon bark was exported in 1996, reflecting a decrease of 35% in cinnamon bark exports from 1995.
The Indian Ocean Tracking Station, on Mahé, was closed in August 1996 after the Seychelles government attempted to raise the rent to more than $10,000,000 per year.
Since Seychelles' independence in 1976, per capita output has expanded to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labor force and provides more than 70% of hard currency earnings, followed by tuna fishing. In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment in order to upgrade hotels and other services. Seychelles is also a command economy.
At the same time, the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, small-scale manufacturing and most recently the offshore sector. The vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 1991-92 due largely to the Gulf War. Although the industry has rebounded, the government recognizes the continuing need for upgrading the sector in the face of stiff international competition. Other issues facing the government are the curbing of the budget deficit and further privatization of public enterprises.
Despite attempts to improve its agricultural base and emphasize locally manufactured products and indigenous materials, Seychelles imports 90% of the food it consumes. The exceptions are some fruits and vegetables, fish, poultry, pork, beer, cigarettes, paint, and a few locally made plastic items. Imports of all kind are controlled by the Seychelles Marketing Board (SMB), a government parastatal which operates all the major supermarkets and is the distributor and licensor of most other imports.
In an effort to increase agricultural self-sufficiency, Seychelles has undertaken steps to make the sector more productive and to provide incentives to farmers. Much of the state holdings in the agricultural sector have been privatized, while the role of the government has been reduced to conducting research and providing infrastructure.
Tourism is one of the most important sectors of the economy, accounting for approximately 16.6% (2000) of GDP. Employment, foreign earnings, construction, banking, and commerce are all dominated by tourism-related industries. Tourism earned $631 million in 1999-2000. About 130,046 tourists visited Seychelles in 2000, 80.1% of them from Europe (United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, and Switzerland).
In 2000, industrial fishing surpassed tourism as the most important foreign exchange earner. Manufacturing, construction, and industrial fishing, notably tuna fishing, account for about 28.8% of the GDP. Earnings are growing annually from licensing fees paid by foreign trawlers fishing in Seychelles' territorial waters.
In 1995, Seychelles saw the privatization of the Seychelles Tuna Canning Factory, 60% of which was purchased by the American food company Heinz. Similarly, some port operations have been privatized, a trend that has been accompanied by a fall in transshipment fees and an increase in efficiency. Overall, this has sparked a recovery in port services following a drastic fall in 2009.
Many of the other industrial activities are limited to small scale manufacturing, particularly agro-processing and import substitution. Agriculture (including artisanal and forestry), once the backbone of the economy, now accounts for around 3% of the GDP.
The public sector, comprising the government and state-owned enterprises, dominates the economy in terms of employment and gross revenue, employing two-thirds of the labor force. Public consumption absorbs over one-third of the GDP.
The Seychelles economy is extremely vulnerable to external shocks. Not only does it depend on tourism, but it imports over 90% of its total primary and secondary production inputs. Any decline in tourism quickly translates into a fall in GDP, a decline in foreign exchange receipts, and budgetary difficulties.
Growth slowed in 1998–2001, due to sluggish tourist and tuna sectors. Also, tight controls on exchange rates and the scarcity of foreign exchange have impaired short-term economic prospects. The black market value of the Seychellois rupee is anywhere from two thirds to one half the official exchange rate. The next few years were also slow due to the worldwide economic downturn and the fear of flying brought on by the terrorism on September 11, 2001.
More recently though, tourism has roared back at a record pace setting successive records in 2006 and again in 2007 for number of visitors. The increased availability of flights to and from the archipelago due in part to new entrants Emirates and Qatar airlines is also beginning to show. New five star properties and the devaluation of the currency by nearly 33% by the Seychelles Government is having a positive influence on the tourism sector as well. Both at official exchange rates and at purchasing power parity (PPP), Seychelles remains the richest territory in Africa in terms of GDP per capita (US$9,440.095 at real exchange rates and US$17,560.062 at PPP 2008 estimate),
Because of economic contraction (the economy declined by about 2% in 2004 and 2005 and lost another 1.4% in 2006 according to the International Monetary Fund) the country was moving downwards in terms of per capita income. However, the economy bounced back in 2007, growing by 5.3% due in part to record tourism numbers and the booming building and offshore industries. The IMF forecast further growth in 2008 with continuing increase in the GDP per capita.
In October 2008, as tourism and fishing revenue began slowing, the Seychelles defaulted on a $230 million debt. The International Monetary Fund stepped with a two-year, $26 million rescue package. The rescue package came with a few stipulations; The country laid off 1,800 government workers, floated its currency, lifted foreign exchange controls and sold off state assets. At the time, the country's $800 million external foreign debt was equivalent to almost 175 percent of its gross domestic product.
The decision to let the currency trade freely as part of the IMF rescue package means that Seychelles is the smallest country in the world that has a completely independent currency - one that is neither pegged, nor an adopted foreign currency, nor a common currency used within a larger monetary union. When the Seychellois rupee became freely floated on November 3, 2008, its value quickly fell drastically, decreasing from eight per U.S. dollar to 16, effectively doubled the prices of imports.
The global recession and piracy in the Indian Ocean hit Seychelles hard in 2009, with the GDP projected to contract by 7.5 percent. However the government exceeded its fiscal targets, with a primary surplus of 13.4% of GDP in the first nine months of 2009 according to the IMF. They report expenditure has been tightly controlled and revenue has held up well despite the difficult economic environment.
In May 2010 an International Monetary Fund mission visited Seychelles and concluded the country is making progress. The head of the mission, Mr. Jean Le Dem, said at the conclusion of the visit:
The economy is recovering from a recession that put real gross domestic product (GDP) to almost a stand in 2009. Real GDP is projected to grow at 4 percent in 2010, reflecting primarily a rebound in tourism earnings. Twelve-month inflation, which was negative during the past few months, is expected to return to about 1 percent by year-end
In addition to the now booming tourism and building/real estate markets, Seychelles has renewed its commitment to developing its financial services sector. Government officials and industry participants believe this could overtake the tourism industry as the chief pillar of the economy by 2017. The recent passage of a revised Mutual Fund Act 2007, Securities Act 2007 and Insurance Act 2007 are meant to be the catalysts to move Seychelles from just another offshore jurisdiction to a full-fledged Offshore Financial Center (OFC).
The Ministry of Finance is responsible for economic decisions and budgetary policy. A separate Monetary Authority supervises the banking system and manages the money supply. Although foreign banks operate branches in Seychelles, the government owns the two local banks—the Development Bank of Seychelles, which mobilizes resources to fund development programs, and the Seychelles Saving Bank, a bank for savings and current accounts.
The Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA) is charged with overseeing the quickly growing offshore industry.
New detailed studies and exploration shows that the Seychelles potentially have large off-shore petroleum reservoirs which are yet to be discovered. Drills have proven the presence of:
However, to date all exploratory and stratigraphic test wells (a total of 9 since the 1970s) in the Seychelles have failed to find commercial hydrocarbons. The most recent wildcat by Enterprise Oil in 1995 detected gas but failed to find hydrocarbons.
Several oil and gas exploration companies are active in the Seychelles offshore. These include East African Exploration (EAX) (a subsidiary of Afren), Avana Petroleum (a subsidiary of Vanoil Energy) and WHL Energy.
Beginning at the turn of the millennium the Seychelles Petroleum Company (SEPEC) started to develop the first fleet of modern petroleum double-hull tankers, with five vessels, which was completed by late 2007/early 2008 with the possibility to build more in the near future. The Seychelles President claims that this has opened the door to a new industry for his country and encouraged economic growth by further removing over-reliance on traditional trades like fisheries and tourism, which is now falling rapidly as the country's main income but nevertheless, has experienced significant growth in recent years.
The country has also increased its capacity for wind power, with windfarms on Romainville Island.
official exchange rate - $0.921 billion (2008)
purchasing power parity - $1.864 billion (2008)
GDP - real growth rate:
+4.0% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita:
official exchange rate - $12,068 (2007)
purchasing power parity - $21,653 (2007)
GDP - composition by sector:
services: 66.4% (2005 estimate)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.2% (2010 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
services: 74%, industry: 23%, agriculture: 3% (2006)
2% (2006 est.)
revenues: $183.9 million
expenditures: $195.8 million (2009 est.)
Industrial production growth rate:
-2% (2009 est.)
$495 million (2008 est.)
As of 2013, the main export products are processed fish (60%) and non-fillet frozen fish (22%).
$658 million (2009 est.)
$460 million (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products
Debt - external:
$1.250 billion (2009 est.)
$0.276 billion (2005 est.)
1 Seychelles rupee (SCR or SRe) = 100 cents
Seychelles rupees (SCR) per US$1 − 11.85 (May 2010), 16.7 (February 2009), 8.0 (2008), 5.8 (2007), 5.5 (2006), 5.3 (1999), 4.7 (1995)
Seychelles rupees (SCR) per Pound Sterling £1 − 17.50 (May 2010), 24.11 (February 2009)
Seychelles rupees (SCR) per Euro €1 − 15.04 (May 2010), 21.55 (February 2009)
Seychelles' Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources in 1993 gave up the management of five state-owned farms, which were divided into small plots and leased to individuals. In addition, the agricultural sector consisted of state farms of the Seychelles Agricultural Development Company (Sadeco) and the outer islands managed by the IDC; three other large holdings producing mainly coconuts, cinnamon, and tea; about 250 families engaged in full-time production of foodstuffs; and an estimated 700 families working on a part-time basis. Many households cultivate gardens and raise livestock for home consumption.The total cultivable area of the islands is only about 400 hectares. Although rainfall is abundant, wet and dry seasons are sharply defined. Better irrigation and drainage systems are needed to improve food crops. The government has taken various measures to reduce dependency on imported foods, including deregulating production and marketing and reducing the trades tax on fertilizers and equipment. As a result, vegetable and fruit production climbed from 505 tons in 1990 to 1,170 tons in 1992. This increase failed to be matched by a commensurate decrease in imports of fruits and vegetables, which reached 3,471 tons in 1992. Local consumption had apparently increased, and substitution between imported and domestic foodstuffs was possible only to a limited degree. In most cases, imported produce is significantly cheaper in spite of air freight, import taxes, and other costs, necessitating a high import markup by the SMB to prevent disruption of domestic production. Neither rice, a dietary staple, nor other grains can be grown on the islands.
The expansion of livestock production is hampered by encroachment of housing and other development on agricultural land as well as by increased labor and animal feed costs. The number of cattle slaughtered in 1992 (329 head) was virtually unchanged from five years earlier. The slaughter of pigs (4,598) was about 45 percent higher than 1987, and chicken production (439,068) had risen by 60 percent.The two traditional export crops of copra (dried coconut meat from which an oil is produced) and cinnamon have declined greatly because of the high cost of production and pressure from low-cost competitors on the international market. Vanilla, formerly important, is produced on a very small scale. Tea grown on the misty slopes of Mahé is a more recent plantation crop, serving mainly the local market.Central Bank of Seychelles
The Central Bank of Seychelles is the central bank of Seychelles. The offices of the bank are located on Independence Avenue in Victoria, the nation's capital.List of banks in Seychelles
This is a list of commercial banks in Seychelles.
Bank AL Habib
Bank of Baroda
Bank of Ceylon
Wittelsbach Princely Trust Bank
BMI Offshore Bank
Mauritius Commercial Bank
Seychelles Commercial BankList of companies of Seychelles
Seychelles, officially the Republic of Seychelles, is a 115-island country spanning an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Southeast Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar.
Since Seychelles' independence in 1976, per capita output in this Indian Ocean archipelago has expanded to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labor force and provides more than 70% of hard currency earnings, followed by tuna fishing. In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment in order to upgrade hotels and other services. At the same time, the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, small-scale manufacturing and most recently the offshore sector. The vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 1991-92 due largely to the Gulf War. Although the industry has rebounded, the government recognizes the continuing need for upgrading the sector in the face of stiff international competition.Mineral industry of Seychelles
The mineral industry of Seychelles consists mostly of production of such materials as clay, coral, sand, and stone. Seychelles is not a globally significant mineral producer or consumer. In 2006, imports of mineral fuels accounted for about 27% of the value of total imports. That same year, Seychelles was estimated to produce about 210,000 metric tons per year (t/yr) of gravel and crushed stone, 93,000 t/yr of granite, and 8,100 t/yr of sand.The main commercial producers of these construction materials are Civil Construction Company Ltd., Gondwana Granite, and United Concrete Products (Seychelles) Ltd.; which are all privately owned.Outline of Seychelles
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Seychelles:
Seychelles – sovereign island nation located in the Indian Ocean and comprising 115 islands of the Seychelles Archipelago, some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of mainland Africa and northeast of the Island of Madagascar. Other nearby island countries and territories include Zanzibar to the west, Mauritius and Réunion to the south, Comoros and Mayotte to the southwest, and the Suvadives of the Maldives to the northeast. Seychelles has the smallest population of any sovereign state of Africa.Revenue stamps of Seychelles
Revenue stamps of Seychelles were first issued in 1893, when the islands were a dependency of the British Crown Colony of Mauritius. The first stamps were Mauritius Internal Revenue stamps depicting Queen Victoria overprinted for use in Seychelles, and Bill stamps were also similarly overprinted. Postage stamps depicting Victoria or Edward VII were overprinted for fiscal use at various points between 1894 and 1904, while surcharges on Bill stamps were made in around 1897–98.
New stamps depicting Edward VII and George V were issued in 1906 and 1915 respectively. Some postage stamps were overprinted once again in the 1920s, but unoverprinted postage stamps were later used for fiscal purposes. In the 1980s, a single stamp was issued to pay the Passenger Service Fee, and this was replaced passenger coupons in the 1990s. Impressed duty stamps and embossed stamp papers were probably used from the 1900s to the 1960s, but have not been recorded as issued stamps. One pre-printed cheque stamp is known to have been used in the late 1960s.
Most Seychelles revenue stamps are scarce.Seychelles Securities Exchange (MERJ Exchange Limited)
MERJ EXCHANGE LIMITED (formerly known as Trop-X (Seychelles) Limited), is the only licensed securities exchange in Seychelles and operates markets for the listing and trading of equities, debt, derivatives, Forex products and more. MERJ EXCHANGE went live August 2013 with the listing of State Assurance Corporation of Seychelles (SACOS) on the Main Board of its Equities Market.As at December 2018, MERJ EXCHANGE had 24 listed securities on its three equities boards and a total market capitalization of USD 259 million.Seychellois rupee
The rupee is the currency of the Seychelles. It is subdivided into 100 cents. In the local Seychellois Creole (Seselwa) language, it is called the roupi. The international currency code is SCR. The abbreviations SR and SRe are sometimes used. Seychelles is the smallest country to have an independent monetary policy. Several other currencies are also called rupee.
States with limited