Seychelles Investment Bureau:
Internationally renowned for its environmental excellence, Seychelles puts a premium on maintaining its many unique ecosystems. SIB screens all potential investment projects, alongside staff from the Department of Environment, to ensure that any economic, social or industrial benefits will not compromise the country’s international environmental primacy.
To make an investment in Seychelles an easier choice and help ensure that the investor generates the maximum possible yield on that investment, the fiscal laws in place provides fair government of Seychelles has introduced a range of legislative measures offering concessions to businesses operating in various sectors of the economy.
Under the provisions of the Tourism Incentives Act and Agriculture and Fisheries Act, concessions are granted on Business tax, Withholding tax on royalties, GST, Trades tax and tax relating to the employment of foreign labour.
The government has also been actively cutting away at the country’s trades tax rates, with the result that, on all but a handful of revenue sensitive items, it now stands at 0%.
Transparency, responsibility, fairness and efficiency are the core principles guiding Seychelles’ fiscal policy.
The principal tax revenue source is a broad based Goods and Services Tax (GST) levied on imported goods and a number of locally manufactured goods and locally provided services and borne by all consumers.
The country’s highly competitive Business tax rates are however as follows:
In recent years both business tax and employers’ social security contribution rates have been cut and GST on capital equipment has been exempted for a wide range of goods and services, including educational institutions, licensed medical operators, communications and cable television services. The Government will as of year 2011 be introducing a proper Personal Income Tax system to replace the social security system and in 2012 a proper Value Added Tax (VAT) system to replace the GST respectively, in its continuous efforts to bring more fairness to the tax system.
Seychelles stated investment policy aim is, “to maintain and improve the standard of living of the Seychellois citizens by creating the economic conditions conducive to increased wealth generation by private businesses and individuals.”
This is reinforced by the subsequent vision:
To build an economic environment in which free enterprise can flourish; where the Government assumes its proper role as regulator and facilitator of economic development; where the ideals of transparency, fair play and equality of treatment are paramount; and a policy that maintains a stable society in which all people are afforded the opportunity to realise their maximum potential.
In order to achieve this, the country has committed itself to supporting an investment friendly climate that guarantees that Seychellois citizens and overseas investments will compliment each other and foster appropriate linkages with all sectors of the economy.
And while the country’s investment policies encourage the exploitation of Seychelles’ natural resources, the improvement of national infrastructure and an increase in productivity levels, it also stresses the paramount importance of achieving this in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner.
The government of Seychelles conducts regular assessments of its legislation pertaining to investment in the country, and implements measures designed to create an ever more competitive, internationally compatible investment climate, to ensure that both new and established businesses are guaranteed success in their business activities.
In recent years Seychelles has aggressively pursued a number of Double Taxation Avoidance (DTA) agreements, gaining preferential tax terms for local businesses and businesses registered in Seychelles doing business overseas.
To date ten (10) DTA’s have been signed, with countries including South Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, Belgium and, perhaps most significantly, China.
The DTA struck with China is one of the most beneficial so far agreed to by the Chinese authorities and will, potentially, see Seychelles emerge as a major conduit for investment in the country’s rapidly growing economy.
Seychelles’ ability to channel money into China from Europe is enhanced by the Europe-compatible time difference and language skills of Seychelles’ population.
The country’s DTA’s, as well as other bilateral trade agreements Seychelles has entered into, are continually reviewed to ensure that their provisions encourage international trade and investments and provide investors with increased certainty over their tax treatment; reduce the scope for double taxation of income and capital; improve profits and reduce risks.
Seychelles’ Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements:
Regional and International Cooperation
The vast potential market of the western Indian Ocean and east and southern African region is opened up to businesses operating out of Seychelles, through the country’s membership of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) offering a combined total population of several hundred million, guided by broadly free-market principles.
COMESA Member States:
Members of IOC:
SADC Member States:
Traditional European links are maintained and strengthened by Seychelles‘ large expatriate communities in the UK, France and Italy as well as the country’s membership of the Commonwealth and Francophonie organisations.
The country’s network of overseas embassies, from where trade and business can be directly promoted, has recently been expanded to encompass the growing economic powerhouses of China and India.
To ensure that the country remains safe for business and retains its international reputation, Seychelles introduced the Prevention of Terrorism Act in 2004 and the Anti-Money Laundering Act in 2006, guaranteeing that the standing of Seychelles and businesses operating here retain the highest levels of operational probity.