Seychelles: Jewel of the Indian Ocean

Atlantis Reborn:

I was resting on my recliner, tired… with my eyes closed… after a long day!!!

Suddenly, I could feel cool sea breeze blowing through my hair… stickiness of the salty air… sound of the waves crashing on the shore… softness of the sand beneath my feet… and the warmth of the setting sun!!! I was transported to an island that epitomized beauty, serenity and peace.  Being astounded by the sheer magnanimity and majesty of the island, the only words that escaped me was – “I am in Seychelles”.

Seychelles – a dream destination of anybody who decides to pack their beach clothes, boards a plane and sees the sun. For those who’ve been there, they want to be back soon… for those who’ve never been there, it always remains the mirage that they intend to go to!

Small is Beautiful

Like all good things coming in small packages, Seychelles, with an estimated population of 86,525, has the smallest population of any African state. [1] Seychelles performed excellently on the 2010, according to Ibrahim Index of African Governance, ranking second out of 48 sub-Saharan African countries, with an overall score of 79 out of 100, second only to Mauritius, which received a score of 83. Particularly good were its scores in Safety and Security, Participation and Human Rights, and Human Development. *Ibrahim Index of African Governance is Funded and led by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, it uses a number of different indicators to compile an overall ranking of countries, which is designed to be used as a tool for civil society in African countries to hold their governments to account. [3]

However, as measured by the Gini index, it has the highest Human Development Index in Africa on the positive side and the highest income inequality in the world on the negative side. *Gini coefficient is commonly used as a measure of inequality of income or wealth.The Ibrahim Index of African Governance is an attempt to statistically monitor African governance levels throughout all the countries of Africa. [4]

Ride the Wave

Trade Indicators

The major trade indicators are not very encouraging. However, there is still a huge scope for upward movement considering the fact that global recession may be nearing its end.  This will drive more tourists towards Seychelles which will result in a ripple-effect of improving the economy multi-fold.

Table 1: Trade Indicators of Seychelles

Product label

Trade Indicators

Exported value 2012 (USD thousand)

Trade balance 2012 (USD thousand)

Annual growth in value between 2008-2012 (%, p.a.)

Annual growth in value between 2011-2012 (%, p.a.)

Annual growth of world imports between 2008-2012 (%, p.a.)

Ranking in world exports

All products







Since 2005, the overall progress report of Seychelles is not significant. However, it may be attributed to the recessionary trends in global economy. According to “Doing Business 2013 – Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises” published by “Doing Business” in October 23, 2012, Seychelles has move up two places to 74th as compared to 76th an year back. The Doing Business Project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level based on the various parameters. On a scale of 1 to 185, Seychelles’ score is as below:

Prasad Ram - Seychelles - Image 1

Figure 1: Seychelles scores in “Doing Business”

The ease of doing business with Seychelles is provided as a comparison with other countries in the region. On comparison with the regional average, this country has fared much better.

Prasad Ram - Seychelles - Image 2

Figure 2: Seychelles ranking in Doing Business

 The attractors

Seychelles has quite a few advantages which makes it an attractive destination for international investment. Let us review a few to get a better understanding of the business situation in the country. The 115 beautiful islands spread all over the majestic ocean is a reason enough to attract tourists all over the world. In addition to the beauty of the country, the high literacy rate of its citizens provides excellent opportunities in the human resource-centric industries. All this is supported by an investment conscious government that is open and provides the best of policy framework for the investors willing to commit their finances to this fledgling country.

A stable political environment and favourable time zone

Seychelles has been lucky to have a fairly stable political system as compared to its more distressed sisters in the continent. This stability has ensured that policies are consistently implemented over a period of time. This fares well with the potential investors who need a basic guarantee for committing their finances.  Seychelles geographical presence is not just in its beauty but also in its time zone. With the time zone at GMT +4, it snuggly sits between Europe, Americas and even Asia to provide plethora of services all around the clock.

Government policies supporting both domestic and foreign investment

Any business requires not just channels of funding but also a strong support from the political and civil systems. Seychelles has progressively implemented policies that not only provide a basic guarantee to the investment but also various incentives to motivate such investments. The governmental policies are comparable, to the most investor friendly countries in the world.

Ideal location for trading and manufacturing

Seychelles is placed at a critical point where any goods transiting from the Americas to Asia and vice versa. Its ideally located to provide trading services and manufacturing. Since the access to the ports is easily available, manufacturing is another fledgling domain. The good can be transported to consumers of America as well as Asia.

Skilled labour force fluent in English, French and Creole

The beauty of this country is not just in its geography or weather, but also the beauty of its citizens. Being intellectually gifted and linguistically superior, they are the most versatile raw material for a country to flourish. Their expertise in multiple languages is an asset for them to provide back-office support to a wide range of countries. While English enables them to do business with major economies speaking English, the other languages enable them to cover Europe, Canada and past French colonies.

96% adult literacy rate and a life expectancy of 75 years old

The literacy rate of the country is reflective of its long term focus and Life expectancy is an indicator of strong economic principles. While literacy enables the Seychelles citizens to create wealth, the channelizing of wealth to a good socio-economic ecosystem ensures longevity of life. The citizens of Seychelles are not only capable of generating wealth but also live long enough to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Sea and air connectivity from all over the world

Being a hub has an advantage of ensuring more footprints to Seychelles. The travelers who transit somehow provide an additional opportunity for Seychelles to generate revenue. Even if the traveler is destined to another place, they also provide much needed spending while transit through Seychelles. The superior connectivity of the country ensures that tourists do not undergo any hassle to reach this contemporary Atlantis.

Work permit easily available and no visa is required

The openness of the country is epitomized by its government policy of providing work permits easily to the deserving candidates. Unnecessary limitations on foreign potential contributors to the economy may deny the country from accessing the value additions of the foreigners. The society welcomes and assimilates the expatriates with open arms.

High environmental standards

Seychelles realizes that beauty of natures it has been bestowed with is very delicate. Any change in fine balance may result in catastrophic effect on not just the environment but also the country as a whole.  Special care has been taken to protect and preserve the environment. While tourism is encouraged, there is a very high awareness about responsibly enjoying the beauty of nature.

Excellent communications infrastructure

Seychelles cannot claim to provide superior services with its intellectually capable workforce if the infrastructure does not support. The excellent communications network with a fiber optic cable backbone drives a dynamic and functional IT infrastructure.  The internet virtually connects Seychelles to the world and enables its citizens to transcend physical boundaries to provide their services to all parts of the world.

Favourable tax regimes for investment

The government of Seychelles is fully aware of the changes to the social-economic conditions of a country due to foreign investments. They have one of the most lenient tax regimes in the world.  Investments in the sectors of Tourism, Agriculture, Energy and Fisheries have excellent tax incentives. The world class financial center and no restrictions on foreign exchange are proving to be major attractions for investment.


For those historians and connoisseurs of beauty who have missed enjoying the beauty of Atlantis, here is a reincarnation that embodies the same majesty, beauty and elegance. The splendor of this country is not just its beautiful beaches but also its citizens and the rulers.  Names as Seychelles, it is the proud jewel shining in the Indian Ocean.

When I wake up from this beautiful dream… I know where to go!


[1]     World Bank. 2013. Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises. Washington, DC: World Bank Group. DOI: 10.1596/978-0-8213-9615-5. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0





Prasad Ram blogs at and gets email at Prasad Ramachandran is the General Manager of Marketing in an IT organization. He has 16 years of experience Marketing & Sales, Account Management, Project Management and Technology consulting. He has lived and worked in 8 countries across Asia pacific. He has Masters degree in Business Administration, Psychology and Journalism & Mass Communication. He is also a behavioral trainer, having trained professionals from many countries. He has a passion for sharing his experiences with Students and empowering them to develop life skills and employability traits. He has self-published two books and is shares his thoughts through his blog. He has been volunteering for various social initiatives to bring about a change in the world he lives in!!!

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