The Seychelles Chamber of Commerce (SCCI) Sub Committee on Praslin, Chaired by Christopher Gill, and supported by SCCI Chairman Mr. Marco Francis have held a historical first ever meeting on Praslin with key players on the economic-financial playing field of Seychelles with the Praslin business community on Friday February 27th, 2015.
In attendance was the Governor of the Central Bank (CBS) Mme. Caroline Abel, newly appointed Minister of Finance Mr. Jean Paul Adam, newly appointed Minister of Investment Mr. Michael Benstrong, Mrs. Maryse Berlouis, Principal Secretary of Investment, Dr. Steve Fanny, Mr. Rupert Simeon (Seychelles Investment Bureau (SIB).
The meeting was also attended by the Seychelles Bankers Association Chairman, and numerous commercial banks were present including: Barclays Bank, Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) ,Seychelles Commercial Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of Ceylon and the Nouvobanq.
In attendance were over Fifty (50) strong businesses representing a cross section of the Praslin business community from fishermen, to boat charters, excursions, ferry service, destination management companies, hotels, restaurants, suppliers, Taxi operators, omni bus service operators, farmers.
Top on the list of priority of issues to resolve was the high ticket prices on Air Seychelles domestic, the need to put into effect the cut of VAT on interisland cargo, the need to reduce VAT on goods, services and salaries in a deflationary cycle, the Pension Fund entering the self-catering business to
compete with small hotels already suffering low occupancy below 50%, high cost of loans, interest rates, and the unstable Rupee- Euro rates which affect the hotel industry adversely.
The meeting went on for Three (3) hours in a frank and to the point manner, terminating on a positive note, wherein the SCCI has committed along with the Ministry of Finance, to see what can be done to reduce the hardship of the Praslin business community to turn the investment climate on the island known to be the “Garden of End”.