Value of pro-active approach to investment


Just after the successful visit of President James Michel to Spain, we read in the Nation (September 22) about Seychelles hosting an economic forum in New York.

This is proof that the government is alive and kicking. It is proof that President Michel as a leader is ready, as the saying goes, “to give his brain a racking to find out the remedy we are lacking”.

Yes, it is true that we need to be pro-active and outward looking to get the investment we need if we are to pull out of the economic quagmire we find ourselves in at this moment.

However, there is only one problem about the current trend. It is one thing to attract investors’ attention and another thing to get meaningful results out of it.

There is a lot of investment money out there and, attracted by the new image of “political stability on the horizon”, investors are ready to come. But, sadly, more often than not, many potential investors get frustrated once they arrive here.

You want them to invest in tourism – well what investment opportunities are you offering in this respect? You talk about fishing potential – what more are you able to offer beyond our commitments with IOT?

Otherwise, what other investment opportunities exist for a serious private investor? A bit more transparency in this area would be welcome.

Since I returned from China a week ago I have been trying hard to arrange for a group of serious investors from Malta who decided to come here to meet the “right people”.

Unfortunately, however, these people happen to be out of the country on official business.

Obviously, in the final analysis most of the overseas visits are predominantly of a PR nature. In my view there is here a bigger role for the private sector to play and I am sure that the private sector will respond positively if invited to do so.
Those mandated by the system to be “decision makers” or “decision takers” should be more readily available locally to take executive action.

From a Seychelles image standpoint, it is clear that President Michel has already made an impact which is resulting in considerable “investor expectation”. Maybe more than we can swallow at a time.

James R. Mancham

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