World Bank-UN meeting: Don’t judge Sids just on 'per capita' benchmarks, says finance minister

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World Bank-UN meeting: Don’t judge Sids just on 'per capita' benchmarks, says finance minister

Post  Sirop14 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:00 pm

World Bank-UN meeting: Don’t judge Sids just on 'per capita' benchmarks, says finance minister

20-June-2014
Small island nations are calling on the global community to take notice of their vulnerabilities as preparations intensify for the third international conference on small islands in Samoa in September.

As a leading advocate of small islands issues, Seychelles chaired a high level dialogue on small island developing states (Sids) in Washington DC last Friday in preparation for the meeting in the Pacific island.

The dialogue focused on ‘building resilience and promoting inclusive growth, and emerging challenges and opportunities in Sids’, according to a press statement from the Seychelles Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investment.

Seychelles’ Minister for Finance, Trade and Investment Pierre Laporte was tasked with leading discussions of the representatives of over 20 small island nations, at a one-day gathering organised by the World Bank and the United Nations.

The UN under-secretary general and high representative for the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and Sids, Gyan Chandra Acharya, was co-chair of the event.
Some Sids are known to have high GDP per capita income but also for their high levels of indebtedness as well as lack of competitiveness in their economies, which are seen as a barrier for growth. The meeting addressed the ways small island states can leverage their ocean resources through the development of the ‘blue economy’ concept, as well as making use of their renewable energy sources in order to foster their economic growth and battle the threat of climate change.

In a video made available to the Seychelles News Agency (SNA) of Minister Laporte being interviewed at the World Bank headquarters, the Seychelles minister stressed on the need for the world to acknowledge the critical role that Sids play in the global economy as a key priority for this group of countries.
“… a large portion of trade and economic activities take place in Sids, in our oceans, so for us the conference is very important and it also helps us to firm up the agenda going forward to Samoa,” he said.
Minister Laporte stressed that it is important for Sids to continue pushing for their challenges and vulnerability to be recognised when being considered for assistance, during the Samoa meeting.

“… many islands face the challenges of low growth and high debt scenarios and one of the things that we have been arguing a lot for is for recognition that we need to look more than just ‘per capita’ as a criteria for assistance, we will continue to make noise about the need to review this whole criteria to include the vulnerability issue as something that is specific to Sids. We need to get more from the development partners on climate change, the world needs to recognise that most of the Sids are at risk of our survival ...(...)...at the end of the day it will come back even to the bigger economies so there is a direct interest for the rest of the world to look at us and do more on the climate change side”.

Minister Laporte acknowledged that small islands are getting financial backing from the World Bank to help them cope with impact of climate change but emphasised the need for other partners to come on board.

“We are glad today that the UN has come on board and it’s important now that other European partners join in also.”
Talking about the experience of Seychelles, Minister Laporte pointed to the country’s efforts to better its economy as well as its environmental conservation efforts.

“Seychelles has gone through five years of extremely successful macroeconomic reforms. In 2008 Seychelles was in deep economic crisis but through serious deep rooted macro structural reform we are now able to say that we have an economy that is growing, that the fundamentals are very strong and this is something where the other islands could benefit from …

“… also Seychelles is a champion in environmental protection and we have been able to base our economy on a strong sustainable tourism for example, and all of this because of strong policies we’ve taken on environmental protection,” he noted.

The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States will be held from September 1-4, 2014 in Apia, Samoa.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=242041

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Money laundering and terrorism financing

Post  Sirop14 on Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:20 pm

Money laundering and terrorism financing

19-January-2016
Seychelles gets World Bank help to assess country’s risks

Seychelles is getting help from the World Bank Group to assess its vulnerabilities with regard to money laundering and terrorism financing.
A team from the Financial Market Integrity Unit of the World Bank Group is in Seychelles for that matter.
The Working Group for the National Risk Assessment (NRA) is led by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Central Bank of Seychelles.
The assessment aims to identify the primary money laundering and terrorism financing risks in the country through a comprehensive analysis. This will then help establish a strategy and mitigating actions to address the vulnerabilities. It will help in allocating resources for the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing more effectively and efficiently, while meeting international standards.
The risk assessment process itself is organised, led and undertaken by government officials and private sector representatives using the World Bank Group’s self-assessment tool.
The World Bank Group helps the authorities to use and understand the NRA.
The assessment helps ease collaboration between different government agencies and the private sector responsible for anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing efforts.
It will also enable Seychelles to develop its own resources to undertake future risk assessments with little or no external support.
The NRA will require nine to twelve months to complete.
The World Bank Group has worked with over thirty countries in carrying out their national risks assessments since 2010.



Standard questions and answers on the National Risk Assessment

What is the National Risk Assessment for Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing?
The National Risk Assessment is an advisory package developed by the Financial Market Integrity Unit of the World Bank to help countries in identifying and contending with their risks posed by money laundering and terrorism financing. It has been developed over the past five years as a result of its work with numerous countries on anti-money laundering and combatting terrorist financing related issues.
The National Risk Assessment supports countries in conducting self-assessments through a systematic and organised process designed to address their specific challenges and needs. The World Bank offers the self-assessment tool, guidance, advisory services and help in undertaking assessments. The process involves the participation of the public and private sector and aims to build a durable mechanism to deal with on-going risks.
The self-assessment tool is developed based on recommended good practices and international standards, including those established by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
How does it operate?
The risk assessment is organised, led and owned by the country, ensuring the development of the country’s own capacity to undertake future risk assessments with none or minimal external support.
The World Bank Group provides a recommended process (which can be adapted according to country circumstances), the risk assessment tool, training on the tool, and guidance to contribute to the strength and reliability of the assessment.
Central to the NRA package is an Excel-based tool developed by the World Bank to identify the main money laundering and terrorism financing risks. It does this by examining the regulatory, institutional, and economic environment within the country. It looks at the threats, i.e. the scale and patterns of the suspected illicit financial flows linked to crime and/or terrorism. The tool also examines the vulnerabilities i.e. the weaknesses or gaps in a country’s defenses against money laundering/terrorist financing.
The World Bank’s guidance and advice includes assistance for countries in establishing a Working Group made up of experienced country-based practitioners from government and, as appropriate, private sector, which deal with the assessment and its outcomes.

Where has the World Bank’s National Risk Assessment been carried out?
Following requests, the World Bank National risk assessment tool has been used by over thirty countries in Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Eleven of these risk assessment have been completed, while the rest are currently continuing.
The World Bank’s national risk assessment tool faces growing demand from new countries. Approximately 70 other countries formally or informally requested the provision of the World Bank’s national risk assessment tool and training.


Source Seychelles Nation

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Stakeholders get World Bank support to identify financing risks

Post  Sirop14 on Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:15 pm

[size=16]Stakeholders get World Bank support to identify financing risks
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20-January-2016

A group of around 80 people working in the local banking and financial services sector from both public and private are meeting to discuss and identify the primary money laundering and terrorism financing risks Seychelles face.
This is being done through a three-day working sessions taking place at the STC conference room.
The assessment is being carried out with the help and support of a team from the Financial Market Integrity Unit of the World Bank Group.
The Working Group for the National Risk Assessment (NRA) is being led by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Central Bank of Seychelles.
Finbarr O’Leary, deputy director of the FIU who is coordinating the working sessions, said the help of the World Bank has been sought because the institution has the expertise in conducting risk assessments throughout the world.
He said the group taking part in the session is discussing and analysing six distinct themes namely threats and vulnerabilities, banking, to name a few with the aim of coming up with a number of recommendations and actions to be taken.
A final report on strategies and actions required to mitigate risks and address Seychelles’ vulnerabilities is expected in over six months’ time when it will be presented to ministers concerned as well as the attorney general and heads of different related agencies.
“This is a reality check for Seychelles and the final report will identify recommendations and actions that will need to be delivered,” Mr O’Leary pointed out.
The Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation Michael Benstrong officially launched the working sessions yesterday morning.
He reminded everyone present that Seychelles is part of the global village and as a result we need to be cautious of what is happening around the world and we need to prepare ourselves to ensure we minimise the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing.
“The questions that are before us today are fundamentally about what changes that need to be made in our current legislations and processes that will help in minimising money laundering and terrorism financing risks,” he said.
“I genuinely hope that this workshop will contribute to your understanding of the anti-money laundering and terrorist financing issues in the world and will assist you in recommending amendments in the current legislation to ensure we are at par with the international best practices,” he told everyone present.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=248155

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Seychelles set to benefit from buy-back of Paris Club debt

Post  Sirop14 on Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:27 pm

Seychelles set to benefit from buy-back of Paris Club debt

11-March-2016
Seychelles is set to benefit immensely from the recent buy-back of US $21.4 million of its Paris Club debt and the launch of a partnership to protect the country’s marine resources and build resilience against the effects of climate change.
In an interview with the press this week, the Minister for Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy Jean-Paul Adam elaborated on how the country will benefit from this deal.
Seychelles bought back 100% of the maturities falling due to participating Paris Club creditors through to mid 2022 at a discount to face value, as per the agreement reached with the Paris Club in February 2015.
The buy-back has been possible through generous grants from a group of international marine conservation foundations and a loan from The Nature Conservancy (TNC). The Nature Conservancy provided a low interest loan and helped the government of Seychelles secure US $5 million in private grants to set up the buy-back vehicle from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the Wait Foundation, Oak Foundation, China Global Conservation Fund, Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham and the Turnbull Burnstein family Charitable Fund among others.
Government will then repay the same amount of debt bought back from the Paris Club on concessional terms to a local specially-created organisation under national legislation, the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SEYCCAT). SEYCCAT will use this cash flow to fund critical marine conservation and climate change adaptation work in Seychelles and to service the loan.
Apart from environmental aspect, the buy-back of the Paris Club debt will also smooth out the repayment profile of Seychelles’ official bilateral debt which stands at approximately US $63 million of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while increasing the proportion of debt that can be serviced in local currency.
Simply put, repaying the debt through SEYCATT means what Seychelles owes to Paris Club donors including the interest rates will remain in the country and will be directed through SEYCATT where the Seychelles government will get better conditions and enjoy certain concessions which will now benefit the Seychelles through the marine conservation and climate change initiative.
This initiative involves the creation of new protected areas and zones under enhanced marine management in the Seychelles’ Exclusive Economic Zone which will protect important species like the hawksbill sea turtle, safeguard the country’s most important natural resource, and become the largest network of marine protected areas in the Indian Ocean.
It will also provide the framework for long-term locally owned sustainable fishing effort and eco-tourism opportunities that contribute positively both to economic growth and sustainability.
SEYCATT has been formed under a legislation consisting of a board. It has the participation of the government with Minister Adam as chairman and Minister Didier Dogley as vice-chairman. It has local and one non local non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
“The SEYCATT fund has got a soft loan of US $21.4 million from TNC under an attractive interest rate of 3% which is much more advantageous than the actual one. We will use the loan to buy back the equivalent of the debt with Paris Club,” said Minister Adam.
He noted that TNC has previously carried out such transactions across the world as it is the conservancy’s mandate. It looks at the best ways to support sustainable developments in fragile and sensitive zones and Seychelles is a country that puts such development at the forefront of its development.
Minister Adam remarked as Seychelles is classed a middle and high income country, it does not have access to much financial modalities.
“For example if we were to borrow money, we will not get access to concessionary benefits. For large countries lack of such benefits does not affect them due to their market size which guarantees them access to a good deal. As for Seychelles it is not easy because we are small and therefore the risks are high. In recognition of such constraints, they allow us a mechanism to buy back a loan in bid to reduce our vulnerability, both economic and environmental,” the minister explained.
He noted that contrary to the interests paid on such loans as that of the Paris Club which go to creditors, through the buy-back process such as the SEYCATT one, the money is reinvested in local projects which benefit the people of Seychelles,” the minister explained.
At a time when threats to the marine and coastal environment and its natural resources are on the increase, this new financing mechanism is critical in providing reliable and additional financing to build resilience and sustain livelihoods. Instead of simply waiting for financing under the global climate change financing mechanism, which has been very slow in happening, Seychelles has once again taken the initiative.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=248690

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‘Macroeconomic outcomes in 2015 positive,’ says IMF mission

Post  Sirop14 on Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:48 am

‘Macroeconomic outcomes in 2015 positive,’ says IMF mission


29-March-2016
“Macroeconomic outcomes in 2015 were positive and all end-December 2015 performance criteria were met. Real economic activity expanded by about 5 percent, somewhat higher than potential GDP growth.”
This comes in a statement issued by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff mission who visited Victoria earlier this month to conduct discussions on the fourth review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement with Seychelles.
The statement however warns that slowing growth or recession in a number of key tourism markets could weigh on economic developments in 2016.
The following is the statement issued by the leader of the mission, Wendell Samuel, at the end of the March 9-22 visit:
“Macroeconomic outcomes in 2015 were positive and all end-December 2015 performance criteria were met. Real economic activity expanded by about 5 percent, somewhat higher than potential GDP growth. However, slowing growth or recession in a number of key tourism markets could weigh on economic developments in 2016. Meanwhile, inflation continued on a downward trend supported by the low commodity prices and the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) tight monetary policy. The balance of payments strengthened on the back of robust tourism arrivals and the low international commodity prices, allowing the CBS to continue accumulating foreign reserves. Fiscal discipline resulted in the government exceeding the fiscal primary surplus target in 2015. The 2016 budget approved by the parliament in December 2015 was in line with the understanding reached during the previous mission.
“In light of the widespread concern over progress in poverty reduction and growing inequality, President James Michel has announced a number of measures, including minimum wage and pension increases as well as income tax cuts, in the State of the nation address in February. The IMF mission estimates that the announced measures would entail substantial fiscal costs – around 3 percent of GDP on a full-year basis.
“It is important that policies to ensure that the economic benefits from years of strong fiscal consolidation are shared more widely do not undermine macroeconomic stability. The mission therefore recommends that proposed increases in pension and minimum wages, together with income tax cuts, be accompanied by offsetting measures to avoid putting pressure on the balance of payments, inflation, and public debt. The mission had constructive discussions with the authorities on possible responses to counterbalance the expansionary impacts of the initiatives announced in the State of the nation address. These discussions will continue in coming weeks.
“The mission met Vice-President Danny Faure, Minister for Finance, Trade, and the Blue Economy Jean-Paul Adam, and Governor of the CBS Caroline Abel, as well as other members of the government, and representatives of the private sector.
“The mission thanks the authorities for their hospitality and the candid and helpful discussions. Mission staff looks forward to an active and continued dialogue with the aim of maintaining macroeconomic stability and achieving inclusive growth in Seychelles.”
The Extended Fund Facility under the Extended Arrangement is an instrument of the IMF designed for countries facing medium-term balance of payments problems because of structural weaknesses that require time to address. Assistance under the Extended Fund Facility features longer programme engagement – to help countries implement medium-term structural reforms -- and a longer repayment period.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=248889

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Session plénière de la 13ème cohorte de l’assemblée des jeunes (SNYA)

Post  Sirop14 on Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:18 pm

Session plénière de la 13ème cohorte de l’assemblée des jeunes (SNYA)

30-August-2016
Une présidence seychelloise pour une assemblée des jeunes de l’océan Indien

Les jeunes parlementaires de la Seychelles National Youth Assembly (SNYA) se sont donnés rendez-vous ce week-end, à National House, pour débattre au sujet de deux motions. Les jeunes ont pu bénéficier d’une présentation de la « World Bank Group » de M. Patrick Kabuya, spécialiste de la gestion financière au sein du groupe.
Apres une présentation du contenu de leur motion respective et de débats, les parlementaires ont procédé au vote des deux motions à l’ordre du jour. Pour la première motion, soutenue par Darius Joliceour, secondé par Eminielle Elisabeth, elle a été validée par les 14 membres présents. Cette motion vise à demander au gouvernement la possibilité de donner aux jeunes, souffrant d’un handicap, plus d’espaces dans le bâtiment du centre de réhabilitation de North East Point qui leur est dédié. Ceci, afin qu’ils puissent avoir un espace plus confortable pour faire leurs activités.
La deuxième motion est venue souligner le besoin de réunir tous les partenaires concernés et sensibles au besoin de préservation et de transmission du patrimoine des Seychelles. Elle propose un travail commun qui pourrait bénéficier à la jeunesse afin qu’elle soit en mesure de participer et de mieux connaître le patrimoine seychellois. Cette motion, défendue par Marie-Stella Fréminot, secondée par Jerry Bibi, a été soutenue à l’unanimité des 14 membres présents.
A l’issue de l’adoption des motions, Jean Michel Camille, a fait part aux parlementaires de la motion qu’il a présentée à Madagascar, Antananarivo, dans le cadre de la récente rencontre de la CJSOI (Commission de la Jeunesse et des Sports de l’océan Indien). En tant que représentant des Seychelles, il a proposé la création d’une assemblée des jeunes de l’océan Indien. Par vote, il a été élu président de l’assemblée des jeunes de l’océan Indien.
La séance plénière a été suivie d’une présentation de M. Patrick Kabuya, spécialiste de la gestion financière au sein de la « World Group Bank » (WGB). Ce dernier a souligné qu’il est important de partager avec les jeunes et de les encourager à s’impliquer et à réfléchir.
M. Kabuya a démarré son introduction par une présentation de son parcours, de simple étudiant tanzanien à la WGB en Afrique du Sud. Il a insisté sur le fait que la force de l’Afrique de demain se trouve au sein de la jeunesse, qui représente 60 % de la population, sur ce grand territoire d’opportunités. « La population africaine continue à augmenter et la jeunesse est une ressource naturelle, même si le déclin de la pauvreté se fait lentement. C’est un véritable potentiel pour renforcer les capacités de l’homme au sens large. Cela peut passer par la connaissance, la compétence et l’éducation, surtout celle des leaders de demain. C’est une chance d’étudier aux Seychelles, vos voisins tanzaniens ne sont pas du tout dans les mêmes conditions de développement. Par exemple, seulement 30 % des écoles ont accès à l’électricité, ⅔ de la population vit de l’agriculture et dans la zone Afrique, il coexiste des conflits, des maladies et une certaine vulnérabilité. La « World Group Bank » appuie et finance bon nombre de projets couvrant ces défis majeurs. Pour votre information, nous soutenons aussi les Seychelles, par exemple, le projet « SWIO fish project ». Nous travaillons aussi sur un nouveau programme de partenariat en y intégrant de l’assistance technique », a-t-il partagé avec les jeunes parlementaires, attentifs et curieux au travers des questions posées.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=250825

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Re: World Bank-UN meeting: Don’t judge Sids just on 'per capita' benchmarks, says finance minister

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