The Seychelles is located in the heart of the Indian Ocean, positioned between 4 and 7 degrees south of the equator. Seychelles is an archipelago comprising of 115 islands .The main island, Mahe, holds the country ‘s capital which is Victoria, named after the late Queen Victoria 2,of the British Monarchy. The two main pillars of the Seychelles Economy are tourism and fishery. However the last two years, off shoring investments has seen to contribute greatly in the country’s economy.
Seychelles is known worldwide for its palm-fringed white sanded beaches, beautiful tropical flora and lushly vegetated mountains. The islands are safely outside the region’s cyclone belt, which is a definite plus for tourists. The enticing combination of year round blue skies, unspoilt clean beaches and a hospitable, smiling population has given the country a reputation as one of the world’s most sought after tourist destinations.
The Seychelles boasts great natural beauty and rare endemic faunas and floras, immensely appreciated around the world. Many visitors flocked the islands to experience at first hand this natural and exotic beauty. The ethnicity varies from European, African and Asian culture which was founded due to the colonial affiliation of Seychelles back in the 1800 by both British and French Monarchy. The population descended from these cultures and it reflects today in the culinary as well as skin orientation. The Seychellois people are also known for their warmth and welcoming nature. The most spoken languages are Creole, the native tongue, English and French, as secondary languages.
Over the last few years Seychelles has become an attractive destination for foreign investors and business ventures. The result has been dramatic increase in International Corporation, investments, exchange of information and more transparency in legal framework of Seychelles. Communication has improved drastically with the recent connection of Seychelles to the fiber optic cable to Eastern African Coast, which provides fast paced internet. This enables more efficient business communication financial transaction for banks and other financial regulators.
The Seychelles has many investment structures in place to facilitate the processes of business ventures. The Seychelles Investment Bureau provides a vital bridge between investors and government facilitating the presentation of new business opportunities. The Seychelles International Business Authority is the regulatory body which offers investors wide range of investment opportunities in International Business Companies, Trusts, Foundation and many others. The Central Bank of Seychelles ensures financial securities of all investment by implementing legal framework, licensing and supervision of banks, insurance companies, trusts to allow as much transparency in financial transactions.
The Seychelles has both political and economical stability operates a business friendly environment and cost efficient. It is a well regulated jurisdiction according to the last Peer Review by the Global Forum in May 2012.The Seychelles has now a solid legal and regulatory framework for the exchange of information of the jurisdiction (Offsite Review). The reputation of Seychelles has extended across the world and many developing markets have realize the advantages of having investments in Seychelles.
SEYCHELLES AS AN JURISDICTION
Building upon a collaborative, mutually beneficial working relationship between the government, regulator and service providers, Seychelles’ industry has placed the maintenance of its OECD-compliant reputation at the forefront of its work. While geographically, politically and economically free from the undue influence of the EU and US regulatory systems, Seychelles’ financial services industry nonetheless demands and maintains respect for the highest standards in business practice to guarantee the reputations of the jurisdiction, its service providers and their clients.
Seychelles is emerging as a jurisdiction of choice with over 12,000 companies registered in 2009 and more than 70,000 companies registered to date. It is taking giant steps towards being an International Financial Centre in the Indian Ocean Region by offering a wide array of products such as International Business Company (IBC), Special License Company (CSL), Protected Cell Company (PCC), Domestic Company, Trusts, Foundations, Mutual Funds, Banks and services such as Legal, Accounting & Auditing.
Seychelles has established well-formed legislation for International Business Companies, Banks, Insurance Companies, Mutual Funds, Trusts, Foundations and extensive programs of investment incentives as well as the International Trade Zone. Seychelles has a territorial taxation system, therefore only locally – sourced income is taxed.
Furthermore, Seychelles is an excellent investment base for investors between Europe and the Far East, being between these time zones, and has the benefit of a multi-lingual population with English and French as the two business languages.
The laws of Seychelles take a most comprehensive, modern and attractive approach to the establishment and operation of companies, mutual funds, banking, insurance and Freeport activities.
In 2003 the government legislated for additional types of companies; Special License Companies, Protected Cell Companies and Limited Partnerships. In 2009 the Foundation Act also came into force allowing the Seychelles to add Foundations to its product offer. It is now easy to form corporations and privacy is reasonably assured. Seychelles signed a number of tax treaties which add an excellent instrument available in the jurisdiction for tax planning purposes.
SEYCHELLES LEGISLATION PERTAINING TO THE INDUSTRY
All relevant legislation can be downloaded from the SIBA website: http://www.siba.net/index.php?s=downloads