Find a business in Seychelles

The small, isolated archipelago of Seychelles is traditionally reliant on tourism and the services sector for income. In 2010 the services sector contributed 82% of GDP, leaving Seychelles vulnerable to any form of decline in tourism business. It has a GNI per capita of US$12,260 (2012) and has seen GDP growth of 2.6% per annum (2008-12). Farming, fishing and manufacturing have all been encouraged to try and limit the dependence on tourism, but this sector still dominates the economy. The global economic downturn of 2008-09 severely affected the tourist industry and Seychelles suffered badly and needed emergency support from the IMF.

Tourism has led the growth of per capita output in Seychelles. Since attaining independence in 1976 this has grown almost sevenfold with the tourism sector earning 70% of the country’s foreign exchange. In 2011 the direct contribution of travel and tourism to the economy was 24.8% of GDP, generating 11,000 jobs – 25.8% of total employment.

While the growth in global tourism and cheaper long-haul flights have made Seychelles more accessible, it has done the same for many others and has made the global industry increasingly competitive. In recent years, the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade infrastructure, hotels and other services.

The black-market value of Seychelles rupee is half the official exchange rate; without a devaluation of the currency, the tourist sector may remain sluggish as vacationers seek cheaper destinations such as Comoros, Mauritius and Madagascar.

There are 458 km of roads, of which 96% are paved. Cruise ships and cargo ships call at Mahé.

Seychelles is ranked 16th best in the world for paying taxes, according to the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2012’ study. It is also placed eighth best in the Sub-Saharan African region for ease of doing business. These rankings measure the conduciveness of a regulatory regime in starting and operating a business.

In 2010, 94% of pupils completed primary school. Adult literacy is 91.8 (2012) and literacy among people aged 15-24 is 99.1% (2012). The official languages are Creole, English and French.