Seychelles formally joins SADC Free Trade Area

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Seychelles formally joins SADC Free Trade Area

Post  Sirop14 on Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:58 am

Seychelles formally joins SADC Free Trade Area

29-July-2015
Seychelles is now an official member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Free Trade Area (SADC FTA).
This accession formally provides a pathway for enhanced trade between Seychelles and the Southern African region.
This is another milestone in the government’s effort to identify and adopt strategies that will improve the business and private sector environment.

Seychelles’ accession efforts towards the SADC FTA dates back to December 2010 when the government found it would be beneficial to intensify efforts to join the SADC FTA. Seychelles submitted its accession to SADC FTA in May 2014 and earlier this year, on May 25, the Customs Management (SADC FTA) Regulations, 2015, were enacted into Seychelles' laws providing legal platform for the accession.

The SADC Protocol on Trade endeavours to promote economic growth and regional integration. The Protocol has been in effect since January 2000. Its objectives are to further liberalise intra-regional trade in goods; ensure efficient production; contribute towards the improvement of the climate for domestic, cross-border and foreign investment; and enhance economic development, diversification and industrialisation of the region.

Trade in goods constitutes a major area of cooperation that supports SADC’s goals of economic development and poverty eradication. Recognising that a framework for trade cooperation will benefit the region, SADC passed its Protocol on Trade in the SADC Region on August 24, 1996.

SADC was established as a development coordinating conference (SADCC) in 1980 and transformed into a development community in 1992. It is an inter-governmental organisation whose goal is to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development through efficient productive systems, deeper cooperation and integration, good governance and durable peace and security among fifteen Southern African member states.

Seychelles’ involvement within the SADC grouping dates back to September 1997 when it officially became a member. However in 2003, the government of Seychelles decided to withdraw its membership from this Regional Economic Community (REC) due to human and financial constraints. In 2006, the government reinitiated the process of joining SADC, and was consequently readmitted in August 2008.

The aim of SADC is to create a community providing for regional peace and security, and an integrated regional economy. As a regional institution, it has laid the basis on which regional planning and development in Southern Africa could be pursued. Hence, several legal and institutional instruments have been put into place to guide and standardise the work of SADC with member states. Such form of instruments include the SADC Protocols, which enshrines the aims of the Community by providing codes of procedure and practice on various issues, as agreed by member states. Currently, SADC has 26 Protocols, including those that have not yet entered into force.

By January 2008 approximately 85% of tariff lines had been completely liberalised on goods traded within the community.

Subsequently, consultations were initiated with all relevant ministries, agencies and other stakeholders within Seychelles to prepare the tariff offer.The final goods offer was adopted by the SADC Summit held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe in 2015.

The final offer presented that 91.2% of tariff lines to be liberalised upon implementation, with further liberalisation to be undertaken over a 12-year phase down period to raise the amount to 97.5%. The remaining 2.5% shall remain excluded from the FTA coverage. While Seychelles’ market access offer under this FTA makes provision for transition period and exclusion of certain products from FTA coverage, Seychelles’ exporters is expected to benefit from immediate duty free access to SADC FTA members that have already liberalised their market under this configuration.

The fifteen country SADC region commands a total population of 277 million people with a total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 575.5 billion, as at 2010. Seychelles originating products will now be granted freer access to the region's market thus reaping the benefits of a larger market while promoting imports from the region.

For more information please visit the Seychelles Trade Portal on www.seychellestradeportal.gov.sc, or contact the Trade Division of the Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy on 4382056.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=246211

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Experience Sharing meeting on Regional-United Nations Development Group (R-UNDG) for Eastern and Southern Africa and Western and Central Africa

Post  Sirop14 on Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:52 am


Experience Sharing meeting on Regional-United Nations Development Group (R-UNDG) for Eastern and Southern Africa and Western and Central Africa

30-July-2015
Seychelles’ approach to national progress hailed

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=246227

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Vice-President Faure at 35th SADC Summit

Post  Sirop14 on Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:52 pm

Vice-President Faure at 35th SADC Summit

17-August-2015
Vice-President Danny Faure is among the leaders from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member Vice-President Faurestates, as they meet for their 35th annual summit with the common goal of improving the socio-economic situation in their region.
The vice-president is representing the head of state, James Alix Michel, at the two-day summit which opens today in the Republic of Botswana’s capital Gaborone, which is also the organisation’s headquarters.

The theme of this year’s summit is ‘Accelerating industrialisation of SADC economies, through transformation of natural endowment and improved human capital’. It builds on that of last year’s summit which focused on economic transformation and sustainable development “through beneficiation and value addition”.

The leaders of the 15 SADC member states will over the two days review progress made during the past year and deliberate on the implementation plan for the industrialisation strategy and roadmap which was adopted by an extraordinary summit held in Harare, Zimbabwe in April 2015 to accelerate industrialisation and add value to their resources prior to exportation.

They will address the different financing options for the 2015 – 2020 Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) which covers the following four priority areas: (i) industrial development and market integration, (ii) infrastructure in support of regional integration, (iii) peace and security cooperation and (iv) special programmes of regional dimension.

With the expiry period of the millennium development goals (MDGs) set for this year, discussions will also focus on the post MDGs agenda and the new sustainable development goals (SDGs) that will be adopted by the UN general assembly in New York this coming September.
The Seychelles delegation at the SADC Summit also include Joel Morgan, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport; Claude Morel, the high commissioner of Seychelles in South Africa and permanent representative to SADC; and Jeanne Simeon, the principal secretary in the vice-president’s secretariat.
http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=246469

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Seychelles hosts 12th annual conference and general meeting of Sadcopac September 7 -11

Post  Sirop14 on Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:49 pm

Seychelles hosts 12th annual conference and general meeting of Sadcopac September 7 -11

08-September-2015
Public accounts committees review their effectiveness


Over 150 parliamentarians, members of public accounts committees (PACs) from 12 Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are meeting in Seychelles for their 12th annual Sadcopac conference.
During the meeting the PACs will review their roles and effectiveness in their respective countries.
The speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Patrick Herminie, officially opened the conference during a ceremony which was attended by Vice-President Danny Faure, several ministers, parliamentarians, among other distinguished guests.
The conference, which is taking place at the Savoy Resort & Spa, is being held under the theme ‘Creating effective Public Accounts Committee Powers, Practices, Capacity and Emerging Trends’.
Auditors and accountants general as well as representatives of the World Bank and other institutional bodies are also taking part.
In remarks before launching the conference Speaker Herminie said the chosen theme for the conference highlights the significance of PACs in any country striving for democracy.
“We are organising this year’s conference because we recognise the importance of international parliamentary outreach and believe that this conference will offer each one of us the opportunity to enhance our capacity and effectiveness to better hold the Executive to account,” Speaker Herminie stressed.
“The PAC in most countries is a constitutional requirement and its oversight role cannot be over-emphasised,” Speaker Herminie pointed out.
The chairperson of the Sadcopac, Nthabiseng Khunou from South Africa, in her remarks said during the conference delegates will deliberate on issues of critical importance to PACs and these include; the mandate and challenges of PACs, accountability within the tourism sector – the Seychelles experience, capacity and performance of PACs and emerging trends and the role of civil society organisations and the media in enhancing oversight of public resources.
Hon. Khunou said the Sadcopac is proud of its record of achievement and expressed gratitude to the different parliaments as well as other institutional partners for their continued support.
“It is critical to note that the effectiveness of Sadcopac as an organisation depends solely on the ability of member states to implement resolutions taken at such forums. Sadcopac will continue to equip members of PACs with relevant knowledge and skills to better discharge their oversight roles,” Hon Khunou stressed.
She went on to note that for PACs to continue to be effective and successful in their work they need to work closely with other portfolio committees.
“PACs also need to understand that our effectiveness also depends on strengthening partnerships with key stakeholders like auditor and accountant generals, civil society organisations and the media. Corruption being the number one factor that continues to undermine the oversight work of PACs.
We must fight corruption with everything that we have to achieve the 2063 vision for Africa adopted by the African Union,” Hon.Khunou told delegates.
She also called on PACs and their members to demonstrate exemplary behaviour by being more committed to their work and use the conference to consider dynamic ways to bring solutions to current challenges which the Sadcopac as well as the different PACs are facing.
The leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, David Pierre, who is also the chairperson of the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC), said the role of such a committee is crucial because it keeps watch on the way government spends public funds, identifies cases of mismanagement, suspected corruption and makes recommendations to government in these respect.
“The FPAC has taken its responsibility to ensure public money is well spent,” he said, noting that the 5th National Assembly has published six reports with two more being finalised.
He said that the key issues in these reports are the various recommendations that are put forward for government actions, noting that the committee also ensures proper follow up on these recommendations.
He added that the Sadcopac conference provides the opportunity for PACs of different countries to share best practices and experience and to learn from each other.
The conference will also follow up on resolutions which were adopted during the 11th Sadcopac conference held in Lusaka, Zambia.
“The different PACs will have to give a detailed report on how they have been carrying out the resolutions of the last conference, how far they are and the challenges they are facing,” Mr Pierre pointed out.
Asked why as the host country the Seychelles’ PAC has chosen to make a presentation on accountability within the tourism sector and share the Seychelles experience, Mr Pierre said it is due to the importance of this sector to our economy.
“A lot of our revenue is generated from this sector therefore it is important for the PAC to ensure that the tourism industry is managed in a way that it generates the maximum benefits for our people and money it generates goes towards development of projects to benefit our people,” Mr Pierre added, noting that the issue of taxes collected from the industry will also be discussed.
Mr Pierre said another key point to be discussed is how to find more effective ways to make governments respond more positively to recommendations submitted to them for action.
“PACs at the conference will seek to come up with more effective ways to exert pressure on their respective governments so they act more promptly on recommendations,” Mr Pierre stressed.
He added that hosting this conference is a big plus for small Seychelles which had fearlessly taken the challenge.
“It is a way to show the people how seriously the FPAC takes its responsibilities and ensure that if it is able to do its work as it should they can guarantee that funds collected through taxes and other sources will be well spent,” Mr Pierre stressed, noting that it is also an opportunity for the people to appreciate the work the FPAC is doing in the National Assembly.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=246704

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Sadcopac resolves to improve lives of African citizens

Post  Sirop14 on Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:49 pm

Sadcopac resolves to improve lives of African citizens

12-September-2015

The combined 12th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Southern Africa Development Community Organization of Public Accounts Committees (Sadcopac) which had been going on during the week at the Savoy Resort and Spa at Beau Vallon, came to an end yesterday afternoon.
At the end of the discussions which were guided by the theme ‘Creating effective public accounts committees: Power, practices, capacity and emerging trends’, representatives from parliamentary public accounts committees from SADC countries have resolved to not only improve the lives of citizens from SADC countries, but from all of Africa.
Speaking at the close of the meeting, Sadcopac chairperson, Nthabiseng Khunou of South Africa, said there is growing passion among parliament members to make difference in their peoples’ lives and that they are now more than ever ready to work together to make this happen.
“I hope that when we get home we can ensure that such things happen. The more important thing is to deliver for our constituencies. We are all Africans and we have to work together to show Africa’s capacity to the world,” she said.
As one of the conditions to attain this objective, SADC parliamentarians have agreed that they must work to end corrupt and fraudulent practices.
“We cannot attain this if there is corruption. There must also be transparency as we want all parliaments to be accountable. Everybody must account for the last cent they have spent,” Mrs Khunu added.
She however accepted that parliaments cannot do it alone and that all branches of government should take their responsibility, especially the executive which she said has to listen to the people’s elected representatives.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=246751

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First ever Africa Prosperity Conference to be held in Seychelles

Post  Sirop14 on Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:57 pm

First ever Africa Prosperity Conference to be held in Seychelles

29-October-2015




The Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with the Pan- African Chamber of Commerce & Industry, is organising the first ever Africa Prosperity Conference from November 10-12 in Seychelles.
The conference will entertain 150 international delegates, mostly business communities around the world as well as international organisations namely the African Union (AU), Southern African Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), among others.
The conference will be a one time opportunity for Seychellois businesses to be exposed to international ones.
The three-day conference will be held at the Eden Bleu Hotel on Eden Island and delegates will require to pay R1,500, which will cover lunch, tea breaks, water, stationery.
Due to limited space, only 50 delegates will be accepted on a first come first serve basis.
Interested delegates can contact the SCCI secretariat, 2nd Floor Ebrahim Building:
TEL: 4323812 email: scci@seychelles.sc; scci.sec@seychelles.sc; scci.tpo@seychelles.sc


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17th meeting of the SADC ministerial taskforce on regional economic integration

Post  Sirop14 on Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:57 am

17th meeting of the SADC ministerial taskforce on regional economic integration

12-July-2016
Minister Benstrong leads Seychelles’ delegation

Minister Michael Benstrong headed the Seychelles’ delegation at the SADC 17th meeting of the ministerial task force on regional economic integration that was held in Gaborone, Botswana on July 6, 2016.
The meeting noted progress on the development of the Draft Costed Action Plan for implementation of the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap and referred it for further consultations at national level.
The meeting also considered the implementation of the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan and noted that concerted efforts continue to be made with the roll out of infrastructure in the different sectors of energy, water, transport and ICT. The task force urged member states to allocate adequate resources to ensure implementation of power projects within the planned milestones in order to eliminate the prevailing power deficit in the region. Member states were also urged to submit their projects to the various funding mechanisms for project preparation to ensure a pipeline of bankable regional projects.
Minister Benstrong, who holds the portfolio for investment, entrepreneurship development and business innovation, also attended the SADC 28th meeting of the committee of ministers for trade and the SADC ministers for finance and investment meeting held on July 5 and 7 respectively.
The ministers for trade reviewed progress in the ongoing negotiations for scheduling commitments under the Protocol on Trade in Services and took note of the outstanding issues delaying conclusion of the negotiations by the extended deadline of September 2016.
The ministers for finance and investment discussed and approved, among other issues, the draft Agreement on the Operationalisation of the SADC Regional Development Fund.
Minister Benstrong was accompanied at the SADC ministerial meetings by Irene Croisée and Ricky Barbé from the Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, Ziyaad Ebrahim from the Ministry of Investment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation and Sandra Isnard from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=250171

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