Ladies and gentlemen, you are here to ask a very simple question, and I am here to answer it.
Why Seychelles? Why invest in Seychelles?
Let me start, on behalf of the Seychelles delegation here in Johannesburg, by saying Happy Birthday President Mandela.
I can stand here and talk for a very long time about the beauty of the Seychelles. I can stand here and talk about the near perfect climate and weather patterns that has won us the name of the land of perpetual summer. A location blessed by being situated outside the cyclone belt and away from the epicenter of tsunamis.
I can extol the virtues of the diversity of our granitic and of our coral islands, and of the colorful multi-ethnic roots of our people. Today, as we stand in South Africa, in the land known as the rainbow nation, I can be proud and say that we in the Seychelles live in harmony as a way of life as the rainbow people in a land where no place is considered as a “no-go” area.
Look around you today, look at the members of our Seychelles delegation here present, and you will all appreciate how we are the rainbow people. No two members of our delegation look alike. This is why in Seychelles everyone is made to feel welcome, and everyone is made to feel at home in a country that prides itself on being a “friend to all and an enemy to none,” an attribute that is reflected in our immigration policy of demanding visas of no one.
It really gives me particular pleasure to be able to address you today and to have the opportunity to talk to you about the Seychelles islands and the exciting world of investment opportunities they offer.
As you can see, there is a great deal about Seychelles that is innately exciting: we have some of the planet’s most spectacular beaches, a land of perpetual summer where harmony is a way of life, and… oh, not to forget our exciting people, us the exotic Creoles, of whom Mrs. Sherin Renaud, CEO of SIB, is a shining example – Exciting Seychelles, she herself calls her investment bureau’s brand.
So, allow me to take you on a short voyage through exciting Seychelles and the opportunities for investment that await you there, and start by answering this question: what incentive can Seychelles offer to you, the potential investor? What are we really offering you?
What are we offering you to make Seychelles a base for your investments?
Let me ask [that I be] excuse[d by] my colleagues forming part of the Seychelles delegation for offering an answer without conferring with them first. But last night I got clearance from Minister Peter Sinon to be able to spell out what Seychelles was today offering.
Ladies and gentlemen, today we are offering the biggest incentive to potential investors. Seychelles is today offering you safety and the guarantee of safety for your investment.
Certainly, one of Seychelles’ premier attractions where the potential investor is concerned is the fact that in a world increasingly full of turmoil, strife, and insecurity, the Seychelles islands offer refreshing degrees of safety, stability, and harmony.
A close second comes [from] the fact that Seychelles is ideally located as a place to do business. Our islands are situated in a time zone whose working hours overlap with those of major financial centers, and Seychelles also possesses excellent sea and air connections with Europe, [the] USA, Asia, and Africa. Other advantages include an efficient telecommunications system along with other advantages such as the extensive facilities available at its harbor, Port Victoria, and a well-developed infrastructure with attractive investment incentives to offer an ideal business environment to investors. Yet another blessing is the fact that we are wonderfully disease-free, with no malaria, yellow fever, or any of the other diseases ex[is]tant in so many other countries.
One should not overlook the fact that Seychelles’ tiny population of barely 87,000 people has always been a true melting pot of peoples from the four corners of the planet. To a very great extent, we have succeeded in transforming this varied ethnicity into a very real strength – because Seychelles is one place where everyone gets along, irrespective of race, color, political belief, or religious persuasion. This provides a strong foundation to our tranquil yet vibrant nation… and an inviting home for your investments where you can be sure that those investments are safe.
The benefits of investing in Seychelles are many: Seychelles respects your investments and offers you the chance to remove funds when you wish. We at the Tourism Board are committed to working closely with you to ensure that your investment dovetails as closely as possible with the needs of the country and that you are provided with every opportunity to succeed with your project.
Seychelles is, first and foremost, a land of diversity: diverse in the ethnicities of its population; in the topography of its islands and its flora&fauna, and just as diverse in opportunities for investment.
Our growing tourism industry remains exclusive because it is a personalized tourism style. Today it features a broad spectrum of accommodation choices, from 5-star hotels and exclusive island resorts to small hotels of under 25 rooms, charming guesthouses, and self-catering establishments. Complementing these and backing them up is the ever-widening selection of restaurants, bars, and clubs we need to add value to the stay of our visitors. Over a year ago now, we launched an affordable Seychelles Campaign, not to make us cheap and not to push to become a mass tourism destination, but instead to break the perception that we were only for the rich and famous, and to bring to the world the message that the whole range of accommodation network for all after the dream idyllic holiday in paradise [is here].
We, at [the] Seychelles Tourism Board, would like to work with our investors to develop a full raft of activities, capabilities, and facilities to match our increasing capacity in airlift and bed supply and ensure that tourists do not leave with unspent dollars or euros still in their pockets for want of places to visit, things to buy, or activities to enjoy.
We need to see fulfilled, the enormous potential that Seychelles possesses for the development of exciting air, land, and sea-based excursions, theme parks, aquariums, aviaries, canopy walks, eco-lodges, rock climbing adventures, sea-plane trips, domestic inter-island cruise ships, regional cruise ships, medical tourism opportunities, and sports tourism potential… et cetera, et cetera, et cetera… the length of the list will only be determined by the vividness of our imagination[s].
In an age when tourists are no longer content to simply flop and drop but increasingly wish to have the most complete experience of the holiday destination they can, it is vital that we do full justice to the countless attributes that a Seychelles holiday can offer to its tourists. We must be constantly prepared to explore with investors new possibilities and new horizons in making Seychelles become everything it can be as the preferred destination for today’s discerning traveler.
Seychelles is a young nation, still wonderfully untouched and with a real treasure house of opportunities for the investor. I would like to invite you to know us better and learn how you can join us in crafting a prosperous future for us all.
Thank you for your attention.
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