December 25, 2007. Negotiations on a temporary agreement for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the EU have been started by Barry Faure, Seychelles Ambassador to the European Union.

It should be noted that Seychelles, as well as 15 other Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Member States, decided to hold these negotiations within the ESA Group. Along with Mauritius, Comoros and Madagascar, Seychelles has established the temporary agreement within the ESA Group.

In the beginning of December, high officials of Seychelles spoke for the National Assembly about the importance of an EPA for Seychelles and jurisdictions of the region. According to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pillay, without a new agreement or without a temporary agreement, exports to the European Union will face import duty.

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November 25, 2007. Recently, the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA) that is actively promoting Seychelles offshore business has sponsored 2 important events in offshore community - Asia Offshore Association (AOA) Conference that was held on October 31 - November 2 in Saigon, Vietnam, and International Tax Planning Association (ITPA) meeting in Hong Kong that was held on November 4-6.

Asia Offshore Association was the event that offered presentations by leading practitioners in the law, accounting, banking and realty industries in Vietnam. A Keynote Speaker was a member of the Wise Men Advisory Committee of the AOA, Mr. Marshall Langer, who spoke on various aspects including his personal experience of being offshore for 40 years.

International Tax Planning Association met in Hong Kong to serve as an excellent platform for networking and marketing offshore products.

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November 10, 2007. With a view to promote Seychelles offshore business, the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA) has recently sponsored two important events in offshore community - Asia Offshore Association Conference and International Tax Planning Association meeting.

Asia Offshore Association (AOA) Conference was held on October 31 - November 2, 2007 in Saigon, Vietnam, and it offered presentations by leading practitioners in the banking, law, accounting and realty industries in Vietnam.

International Tax Planning Association (ITPA) meeting was held in Hong Kong held on November 4-6, 2007 and represented itself an excellent platform for offshore product networking and marketing.

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October 1, 2007. On September 19, 2007, there was the official opening ceremony of the Embassy of the Republic of Seychelles in Beijing, People's Republic of China. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Seychelles announced the opening in the beginning of September.

The official opening ceremony was attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Patrick Pillay and other high government officials. Also,business people from China attended the opening ceremony of the Embassy.

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September 9, 2007. Barclays Bank indicated the Seychelles as a country with good money laundering control in offshore banks.

Barclays Bank has been recently given the license to operate as an offshore bank in Ghana. At a workshop on offshore banking, Ms. Catherine Addo of Barclays Bank said that Seychelles is an example of good offshore banking and added that the strict control measures used for offshore banking branches in Seychelles (including the usage of the World Checking System to double check clients' background) would be applied also in Ghana. These measures.

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August 28, 2007. Seychelles has re-entered the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The jurisdiction had already been the member of the organization. It joined the SADC, quit it, then decided to rejoin it. It should always be taken into account that Seychelles is very different from most member states of SADC. It differs from them both geographically and economically. Still, the jurisdiction decided that re-entering the SADC will be beneficial for it this time.

A budget of USD 1.9 million was allocated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare for Seychelles re-entry into SADC. Finally, tit has been readmitted.

All in all, SADC has 15 members now.

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August 18, 2007. In 2006, a 13.71% rise was recorded by the Seychelles Credit Union (SCU) on its general reserve.

Capital available for immediate disbursement to clients (in other words, liquidity) has risen by 137%, which is a 3-fold increase over the 2005 results. Income collected by the SCU has substantially fallen during 2006. Still, the Seychelles Credit Union has recorded an increase of 7.18 % in surplus for 2006 as far as the SCU lowered its expenses, accumulating the net benefit.

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August 2, 2007. According to Seychelles President James Michel's expectations, the Seychelles' economy is to grow by 7.5% in 2007 as far as investment in the jurisdiction's keeps on increasing.

Recently, President Michel was reflecting on his 1st year in office since he was elected in 2006. He noted that Seychelles has been able to progress and said that the level of growth has reached 5.3%. The President suggested that such growth reflecting an increase of 1.2% from the previous year is a definite progress since restarting the economy of Seychelles. It should be noted that the growth of 7.5% is expected this year - this prediction is based on the available data.

According to Michel, in 2007, about USD 100 million in foreign exchange has flowed into the country. The reserves of Seychelles at the end of June were USD 110 million showing a 16% increase as compared with 2006. The President expects reserves to keep on on growing as the economy of the Seychelles grows.

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June 9, 2007. In the beginning of June, Russia's Federal Tax Service (FTS) has announced that Russia should sign agreements on exchange tax information with the Seychelles and other offshore countries.

Deputy head of Russia's FTS, Konstantin Sedov, said that tax agreements are to be signed in order to exchange tax information with the Seychelles, the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar as well as with other offshore jurisdictions.

The above-mentioned proposal was sent by Russia's Federal Tax Service to the Russian Finance Ministry. The Ministry will consider holding the necessary talks with the corresponding agencies of the Seychellois government and other of foreign governments.

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May 20, 2007. May 23, Barclays Bank will open a new retail branch of Barclays Bank (Seychelles) at the Providence Industrial Zone.

Providence Industrial Zone was chosen by the Bank as far as over the years it has seen an increased level of business activity, and Barclays Bank believes this trend to continue in future.

The branch located in the P&J building complex will offer all the normal branch services including ATM services, loan processing and cashiering transactions.

According to a bank's representative, the opening of a new branch is part of the Barclays Bank's strategy of expanding retail footprint across the different groups of population aimed to bring services closer to the public.

With the new branch, bank's customers will be able to choose the closest branch and shift their banking to wherever is convenient for them, which is an instant benefit for many people.

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May 5, 2007. It was announced on May 1 that Emirates Hotels & Resorts has decided to support Seychelles resort - it is investing $253 million in a project in this country.

The Emirates Cap Ternay Resort & Spa will be located on Mahe island and consist of a main resort with 186 rooms and 230 semi-detached complexes and a private resort with 15 water bungalows, 40 2-bedroom villas and a presidential suite. A Timeless Spa will also be available there.

It is planned to open the resort in 2010.

It is worth noting that Emirates is also considering other locations for similar hotel resorts - the countries under consideration are India, Sri Lanka and east Africa to build. So, the company intends to expand its network of destinations from Sydney to New York.

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April 15, 2007. The Seychelles and Kenya have signed a new bilateral agreement to provide for increasing trade between their capitals Victoria and Nairobi.

Victoria mayor Mrs Florence Benstrong and Nairobi mayor Dick Wathika have signed a pact and agreed that despite the near location of the 2 capitals, trade between Victoria and Nairobi is limited.

Both mayors have expressed their expectations that the signing of this bilateral pact will change and improve the current situation in trade, which is minimal but, nevertheless, many locals of Seychelles have links with locals in Kenya and fly there regularly. Therefore, Nairobi mayor expects that the agreement will help to develop infrastructure links in order to promote tourism between Seychelles and Kenya.

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March 30, 2007. According to the National Statistics Bureau (NSB), the Seychelles' tourism industry has showed a good start, which was marked by an increase in visitor arrivals of 15% during January, February and March of 2007.

By March 25, 38 200 people visited the Seychelles, which was 26% more than the average in the last 5 years for the same period.

The leading source of tourists visiting the Seychelles was France, followed by Italy and Germany. The tourists from UK, Ireland and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) follow Italians and Germans.

Tourist markets of France, Italy, UK, Ireland and the CIS have showed increases in tourist arrivals of between 13% and 42%.

It is worth noting that in 2006 tourism contributed 57% of foreign revenue of the Seychelles.

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March 3, 2007. The Embassy of Seychelles in the capital of Italy, Rome, was opened in the end of February. The establishment of the Embassy is aimed at reinforcing the diplomatic relationship between the Seychelles and Italy.

At the opening ceremony of the Embassy of Seychelles in Rome, Seychellois President James Alix Michel regarded the opening as a moment of pride for the Seychelles as well as important historical event.

According to President Michel, the new embassy is broadening the outlook of the country and maintaining its position in the international arena.

The contact details are:

Embassy of the Republic of Seychelles

Via Rivarone n.66 - 00166

Roma, Italy

Tel.(+39 06)66 510 207

Fax (+39 06)66 514 293

Ambassador - Mr. Graziano Triboldi

1st Secretary of the Embassy - Miss Geraldine Saurer

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February 14, 2007. The Head of State of China has made his first visit to the Seychelles since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries in July 1976. As a result of official talks during the visit, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Seychellois President James Michel decided on developing the already existing ties between the countries. For example, they agreed to promote pragmatic co-operation in tourism, human resources, fishery and other areas.

One of the general purposes of Hu Jintao during this visit was to implement the China's commitments made during the Beijing summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation in November 2006.

The President of China proposed to develop partnership between the countries and to increase exchanges between legislative, governmental and non-governmental departments, in order to enhance mutual understanding and trust. He also confirmed that China will continue with providing economic assistance to Seychelles.

By words of Hu Jintao, the Chinese government promotes economic ties by encouraging the country's enterprises to import more goods from Seychelles and to invest more in its infrastructure, telecommunications, etc.

China and Seychelles have signed 5 bilateral co-operation agreements during this visit, concerning economic and technological co-operation, investment promotion and education.

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February 5, 2007. Members of the National Economic Planning Council met under the chairmanship of President James Michel organized meeting to look for ways to remove obstacles that trouble the increasing economic growth of the Seychelles. Council's opinion is that the economy of the country is set to continue growing rapidly.

The meeting was the 1st in 2007 and the 3rd on the NEPC calendar, which starts in September and has eight meetings annually. It included 3 presentations. The 1st presentation was made by the Public Utilities Corporation, responding to issues raised at the last NEPC meeting, which concerned the analysis of future electricity supply capacity. The 2nd presentation was made by Vivianne Fock-Tave, the principal secretary for International Relations, and regarded the economic partnership agreements with the European Union. According to the Council's secretary, there is a new system negotiated with the EU. The 3rd presentation on the strategy was presented by President Michel, and discussed the future of the Seychelles in the next years.

According to the Council's secretary, Caroline Abel, the most rapidly growing sectors of the Seychelles economy were fisheries and tourism. The Council also discussed Internet connectivity and financial services. During the last 30 years the economy of Seychelles has grown in a particular direction. Now the Seychelles government is looking at the new sources of growth.

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January 24, 2007. In 2006 the Seychelles welcomed record number of tourists - 140 627. The country is planning to increase the number, but not to make it more than 200 000 visitors by 2010, to safeguard an environment and avoid the risk of environmental degradation. Joseph Belmont, vice-president of the Seychelles and the Minister for Tourism, is especially worried about too large figures on the islands with exclusive beaches.

The Seychelles is traditionally welcoming more tourists than its population, which makes 82 000 people. In 2002 the country welcomed 132 246, then, after a slight decline in visitors' number, the figures increased again starting from 2005.

Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, chief executive officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, expressed the pleasure to receive such result of growth in visitor arrivals. He also expressed his expectations suggesting more visits in 2007.

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Our latest offshore news
30/09/2006
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Jurisdictions, etc..
25/08/2008
President of Seychelles led his delegation to the 28th South African Development Community (SADC) Heads of States and Government Ordinary Summit held on August 16-17 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
21/08/2008
Cooperation talks between the Seychelles and Cyprus began on August 19 with the 1st meeting of the Permanent Cypriot-Seychelles Intergovernmental Commission.
01/08/2008
BMI Offshore Bank (BMIO) made an announcement that its offshore banking operations in the Seychelles have been officially launched.
20/07/2008
The Central Bank of Seychelles has announced that Seychelles' Mutual Fund legislation has been updated. Mutual Fund Act has been redrafted so that it plugged gaps in the previous mutual funds legislation.
16/07/2008
Concluding the 8th Session of the Seychelles-Mauritius Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, the Governments of both jurisdictions agreed to support each other and strengthen cooperation regarding bilateral relations.
05/07/2008
The Minister for Finance Danny Faure announced that Seychelles has launched the process of debt rescheduling as well as partial writing off its bilateral debt.
06/06/2008
The Central Bank of Seychelles announced that it will introduce a new service in order to increase investment flexibility.
20/05/2008
On May 16, 2008, new Ambassador of China to Seychelles Wang Weiguo arrived in Seychelles and presented his credentials to Seychelles President James Alex Michel in the capital Victoria.
15/04/2008
Three representatives of a major Kuwaiti business developer, who visited President Michel at State House, are going to make huge investments into the jurisdiction.
06/04/2008
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Deputy Emir of Qatar, issued a decree that ratified a double taxation avoidance agreement (DTA) between Qatar and the Seychelles.
10/03/2008
Recently, publishing Seychelles Strategy for 2017 has been announced. The mission stated in the document was doubling the GDP by 2017, which is going to be achieved by means of focusing on developing the offshore financial services industry, tourism and fisheries expansion programmes, as well as the growth of other economic sectors.
02/03/2008
The European Commission made the 1st step towards the signing of short stay visa waiver agreements between the European Community and Seychelles.
12/02/2008
The Development Bank of Seychelles, a joint venture between the Government of Seychelles and financial organizations, is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a series of activities in the middle of February 2008.
08/02/2008
An International Monetary Fund staff mission issued and published the Statement at the Conclusion of the 2008 Article IV Staff Mission to Seychelles.
05/02/2008
As a result of the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Amir of the State of Kuwait, Seychelles' President James A. Michel is visiting Kuwait.
28/01/2008
The 4-day workshop on multilateral trade negotiation and regional integration was organized by the COMESA in conjunction with the Trade Division within the Ministry of Finance of Seychelles.
05/01/2008
In his New Year's message, Seychelles' President James Michel announced Seychelles the Constitution - the national theme for 2008.
15/12/2007
Negotiations on a temporary agreement for an Economic Partnership Agreement between African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the EU have been started by Barry Faure, Seychelles Ambassador to the European Union.
10/11/2007
With a view to promote Seychelles offshore business, the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA) has recently sponsored two important events in offshore community - Asia Offshore Association Conference and International Tax Planning Association meeting.
01/10/2007
On September 19, 2007, the Embassy of the Republic of Seychelles was officially opened in Beijing, People's Republic of China. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Seychelles announced the opening in the beginning of September.
07/09/2007
Barclays Bank indicated the Seychelles as a country with good money laundering control in offshore banks. The strict control measures used for offshore banking branches in Seychelles are to be applied in Ghana.
24/08/2007
Seychelles has re-entered the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which now has 15 members. Seychelles had already been SADC member previously, but it quit it.
18/08/2007
In 2006, a 13.71% rise was recorded by the Seychelles Credit Union (SCU) on its general reserve. Capital available for immediate disbursement to clients has risen by 137%.
02/08/2007
According to Seychelles President James Michel's expectations, the Seychelles' economy is to grow by 7.5% in 2007 as far as investment in the jurisdiction's keeps on increasing.
09/06/2007
In the beginning of June, Russia's Federal Tax Service (FTS) has announced that Russia should sign agreements on exchange tax information with the Seychelles and other offshore jurisdictions.
20/05/2007
May 23, Barclays Bank will open a new retail branch of Barclays Bank (Seychelles) at the Providence Industrial Zone, which was chosen by the Bank as far as over the years it has seen an increased level of business activity.
05/05/2007
It was announced on May 1 that Emirates Hotels & Resorts has decided to support Seychelles resort - it is investing $253 million in a project in this country.
15/04/2007
The Seychelles and Kenya have signed a new bilateral agreement to provide for increasing trade between their capitals Victoria and Nairobi.
30/03/2007
According to the National Statistics Bureau, the Seychelles' tourism industry has showed a good start, which was marked by an increase in visitor arrivals of 15% during January, February and March of 2007.
10/03/2007
The Embassy of Seychelles in the capital of Italy, Rome, was opened in the end of February. The establishment of the Embassy is aimed at reinforcing the diplomatic relationship between the Seychelles and Italy.
14/02/2007
As a result of the visit of Chinese Head of State to the Seychelles in February, 2007, China and Seychelles agreed to promote pragmatic co-operation in tourism, human resources, fishery and other areas.
05/02/2007
Members of the National Economic Planning Council of Seychelles were looking for ways to increase the economic growth of the country. Their meeting took place on January 31, 2007.
24/01/2007
In 2006 the number of tourists in Seychelles was 140 627. According to the chief executive officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, the country hopes to increase this record figure, with a target of 10% growth in overall arrivals.
18/12/2006
At announcing the Appropriation Bill 2007, the principal secretary for Finance, Lekha Nair, confirmed the fact that the Seychelles had cleared all its debts to multi-lateral organizations, which improved its international profile.
01/12/2006
After quite a hard year 2005, the Seychelles has been experiencing an impressive economic growth of 4.5% in 2006. The economic outlook of the Seychelles' situation was presented by the International Monetary Fund mission after its visit in November in the form of concluding statements.
17/11/2006
A bilateral Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement between the Seychelles and the United Arabs Emirates signed on September 19 was approved by the United Arabs Emirates' cabinet on November 12.
10/11/2006
According to United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) 2006 Human Development Report, the Seychelles takes the 47th position in the rating of countries with high human development. It has been ranked 47th among 63 countries with high human development.
13/10/2006
Seychelles cleared its credit to the World Bank, as of October 6, 2006. Now all the bank's loans to the Seychelles or the loans guaranteed by the Seychelles have been restored to accrual status. The country's arrears to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development amounted to approximately USD 770 thousand.
02/10/2006
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'B' credit rating to the Seychelles - 'B' long-term and 'B' short-term foreign currency sovereign ratings, and its 'B+' long-term and 'B' short-term local currency sovereign ratings - as well as characterized its outlook as stable.
19/09/2006
Seychelles and the United Arabs Emirates signed a bilateral Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement in Singapore. The new agreement will strengthen the existing economic relationship between the two countries and will provide an inducement to people of both countries to draw their attention to increasing investment, trade and employment opportunities.
25/11/2007
Recently, the Seychelles International Business Authority has sponsored Asia Offshore Association (AOA) Conference in Vietnam, and International Tax Planning Association (ITPA) meeting in Hong Kong.