Seychelles President James Michel attended the opening of the Bois De Rose shopping complex in Victoria this morning. Also present was Vice President Danny Faure who had the honor of unveiling the plaque to officially open the complex.
The opening was described as an exceptional milestone in the history of this project and the economic development of Seychelles.
The ceremony was also attended by the Designated Minister, Vincent Meriton; ministers; members of the National Assembly; Chief Executive Officer for the Societe Seychelloise d’Investissements (SSI); Chief Executive Officer of Seychelles Trading Company, Ms. Veronique Laporte; the Diplomatic Corps, Chairperson and board members of the SSI; and other guests from private and government agencies.
The Vice President commended all the business operators who will be undertaking commercial operations at this complex as well as congratulating the board and management of SSI for delivering to the country, the Bois de Rose shopping complex.
The Bois De Rose shopping complex has already welcomed its first tenants and will today welcome its first customers. The complex started as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project between Societe Seychelloise d’Investissements (SSI) and the Caille Groupe from Reunion, until the group pulled out and the SSI took over the project.
“The history of this project is quite long, but I shall summarize it as follows. The project was started off as a PPP … However, largely as a result of factors in the rest of the world – namely the Global Financial Crisis – the private partner could not uphold its end of the bargain. Determined to offer our population a convenient store in a convenient location at convenient prices, government decided to use the tools at its disposition to get the project completed,” said the Vice President in his opening address.
He continued, “The completion of construction work on this complex, at total costs of R160 million is proof, if proof is required, that in small economies like that of Seychelles, government’s intervention is from time to time required to provide the fuel necessary, to keep the economic engine alive, especially in sectors not considered lucrative or profitable by the private sector, or a situation where the private sector does not have the financial capacity to implement certain major projects, this complex being an example.”
Having a floor area of 3780 square meters, the complex will be operated by the popular Seychelles Trading Company (STC), which will host the first hypermarket in Seychelles. As of today, Seychellois will be able to enjoy the new shopping facilities with a more modern and spacious shopping floor, wider variety of household products, food and electronic items, and toys, as well as parking space.
The Vice President also highlighted the accessibility it will bring to healthier food and drinks as well as local products. He also noted that all the commercial shops have been allocated to the private sector.
“The hypermarket will also host a cafe with a difference, promoting healthy eating and, therefore, a healthier lifestyles for the Seychellois population, in support of the National Health Campaign – My Health, My Responsibility. In addition to imported fruits and vegetables, the hypermarket will offer a wide variety of locally-produced fruits and vegetables, providing a much-needed and sought-for outlet to the local farmers for their produce. It will also host two outlets offering fresh local meat and fresh fish, to be operated by private-sector operators,” said Vice President Faure.
He added: “Cleaning, security services, CCTV installation and maintenance, landscaping, and plant maintenance have all been outsourced to the private sector. All those selected are small upcoming Seychellois-owned SME. The mix of small-, medium-size and large businesses selected to operate in this complex and the partnership fostered between STC and the private operators engaged in the supply of household goods and consumables, is a direct response to government policy to provide working premises and business opportunities to small- and medium-size enterprises and goes a long way in supporting the drive of President Michel in the promotion and empowerment of small and medium Seychellois owned businesses.”
The new STC hypermarket will open for longer hours on weekdays, weekends, and public holidays.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .