Seychelles

Region: Archipelago in the Indian Ocean

Capital: Victoria

Population:  91,650 (July 2014 CIA est.)

Surface area: 455 sq km

Currency: Seychelles rupee (SCR)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $25,900 (2013 CIA est.)

Background:
A lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter. Independence came in 1976. Socialist rule was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993. President France-Albert Rene, who had served since 1977, was re-elected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004. Vice President James Michel took over the presidency and in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year term.

Economy – Overview:
Since independence in 1976, per capita output in this Indian Ocean archipelago has expanded to roughly seven times the pre-independence, near-subsistence level, moving the island into the upper-middle-income group of countries. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labor force and provides more than 70% of hard currency earnings, and by tuna fishing. In recent years, the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and other services. At the same time, the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, and small-scale manufacturing. In 2008, having depleted its foreign exchange reserves, Seychelles defaulted on interest payments due on a $230 million Eurobond, requested assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and immediately enacted a number of significant structural reforms, including liberalization of the exchange rate, reform of the public sector to include layoffs, and the selling of some state assets. In December 2013, the IMF declared that Seychelles had successfully transitioned to a market-based economy with full employment and a fiscal surplus. (CIA, 2014)

Major Export Commodities: canned tuna, frozen fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports)

Remittances inflows: US$ 18 million (World Bank 2012 est.)

Human Development Index 2013 ranking: 46 out of 186 countries (UNDP 2014)

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners:
Net ODA US $35,330,000.
Major development partners include: France, Japan, United Arab Emirates, E.U. Institutions, Italy (OECD 2012)

Total External Debt: US $1.719 billion (31 December 2013 CIA est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth: 74.25 years (CIA 2014)

Environmental Indicators:
Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 16.1
Forested Area (percentage of land area): 88.5
CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 7.8
(UNDP 2013)

United Nations Membership Date: 21 September 1976

New York Mission:
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Seychelles to the United Nations
800 Second Avenue, Suite 400C
New York, N.Y. 10017 USA
Telephone: (212)-972-1785
Fax: (212)-972-1786
E-mail: Seychelles@un.int.; seychellesmissionun@gmail.com

Sources:
CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. www.cia.gov
World Development Indicators. World Bank www.worldbank.org
Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. www.oecd.org
Human Development Report 2013.United Nations Development Programme. www.undp.org

Updated January 2015