The Seychelles Investment Bureau (SIB), in close collaboration with various public and private partnerships, hosted the Seychelles International Investment Forum at the HUSA President Park Hotel, Brussels, from October 20-22, 2010.
The chief executive officer of SIB, Mrs. Sherin Renaud, described the event as a “milestone in Seychelles investment history, as it is the first time that an investment forum has been organized at such a high level and with such prominence.”
The opening dinner hosted by Minister Peter Sinon, the minister responsible for investment, industries, and natural resources was attended by special guest Minister Pieter De Crem from Belgium, Mr. Jan De Nul, the president of De Nul International and other high delegates.
Addressing the guests, Minister Sinon extended his appreciation of their presence and further quoted: “Uour acceptance and successful efforts to join us for this auspicious event reaffirms our conviction that following a set of successful socio-economic and financial reforms that began in 2008, the time has come and it is the right time to inform and engage you partners in a win-win solutions as we continue to improve the enabling environment to do business in Seychelles.”
In recognition of the importance of the media to Seychelles in its ongoing marketing campaign, the Seychelles Tourism Board commemorated the launching of the special program: “Friends of Seychelles – Press” with the launching of the forum. Certificates were handed to the participants in the opening dinner by the minister responsible for investment, Minister Peter Sinon, after Bernadette Willemin, the Seychelles tourism director for Europe had explained this innovative program by Seychelles. Minister Sinon also received the first copy of the Seychelles investment guide from Mrs. Renaud, chief executive officer of the Seychelles investment Bureau in the opening dinner.
The forum itself was attended by over more than 100 participants across Europe pursuing pro-investment interests in almost every sector being promoted at the forum. While the successes of the Seychelles economical history remains in its tourism and fisheries developments, the Seychelles delegates surmised that the conditions are right for Seychelles to now resume a path of growth.
The need to reach out to investors and to consider new avenues as new markets are explored for the further diversification of the Seychelles economy was acknowledged, in line with one of the goals of the reform – reducing the role of the state and encouraging more private sector activities.
The panel of speakers ranged from chief executive officer of Air Seychelles, Island Development Company, Seychelles International Business Authority, the principal secretary from the Ministry of Land Use and Housing, the deputy CEO of the Seychelles Fishing Authority, Central Bank of Seychelles, and chief personnel from private institutions such as the Desroches Island Resort, MW Brand Seychelles, Eden Island Seychelles, and the Sterling Offshore.
Delegates presented investment opportunities in the financial, aqua culture, tourism, island development, energy, and agricultural sectors to name a few. The primary objectives of the presentations were to provide potential investors with adequate information on the Seychelles, its investment opportunities, as well as its business and economic climate. The delegates also promoted the political stability, legislative, administrative and investment framework, and the recent important changes in its economic landscape, reckoning that Seychelles now has the potential of becoming the most sought-after destination for investment opportunities.
The participation of other local investors and agencies with direct interests in investment also provided for a direct, effective, and interactive platform for potential International investors to learn more about Seychelles business opportunities.
Mrs. Renaud explained that the bureau intends to host a similar forum early next year to the local business community, as there are projects of which the bureau will encourage local partaking or partnership between local and foreign investors. On the international front, similar forums are being planned in South Africa, London, and Asia next year with specific sector focus for each of the areas.