Seycelles Trade, Exports & Imports

May 15, 2010Seychellesby EW Content Team

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For the country of Seychelles, the economy depends primarily on fishing and tourism, however there are other secotors that make up the Seycelles Trade, Seycelles Exports, Seycelles Imports.  This country was granted its independence in 1976 and since that time, the per capita output has grown approximately seven times.  This Indian Ocean archipelago has a strong tourist industry and in fact, it is estimated that as much as 30

For the country of Seychelles, the economy depends primarily on fishing and tourism, however there are other secotors that make up the Seycelles Trade, Seycelles Exports, Seycelles Imports.  This country was granted its independence in 1976 and since that time, the per capita output has grown approximately seven times.  This Indian Ocean archipelago has a strong tourist industry and in fact, it is estimated that as much as 30% of the workforce work in some capacity of tourism.  In addition, fishing is very important to this economy, which now provides over 70% of actual currency earnings.  While several different species of fish are a part of Seychelles trade, tuna is the most popular and valuable.

To keep tourism and fishing at substantial levels, the Seychelles government recently encouraged foreign investment so hotels could be repaired and upgraded, as well as new services offered.  While looking for investment to improve the country’s infrastructure, the government has also been working hard to reduce its level of dependence on tourism.  For this, country officials want to develop new and better opportunities for fishing, farming, and smaller manufacturing operations.

The reason is that tourism is swayed by occurrences around the world.  For instance, when the Gulf War broke out, the number of people visiting Seychelles dropped dramatically.  Even though this country still has a strong tourist industry, governmental officials are being realistic in that another similar war or worldwide financial crisis such as the one recently experienced could once again cause numbers for tourism to drop.  Additionally, the Seychelles government wants to better the budget deficit and increase privatization of the country’s public enterprises.

Regarding fishing and tourism, the most recent numbers show that fishing accounts for almost 29% of the GDP, also included in this number is manufacturing and construction, and tourism, about 13%.  Keep in mind, for Seychelles, the tourism sector is comprised of many other industries to include banking, construction, foreign earnings, employment, and commerce.  Therefore, when the tourist industry is hit, many other sectors of Seychelles are affected.

Earnings for tourism in Seychelles ten years ago were an incredible $631 million and of the more than 130,000 tourists that came to this country during the year 2000, most were from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.  Since that time, the tourism industry has grown, which means the revenue generated has also grown substantially, as well as the number of people visiting.

Another commodity included with Seychelles trade is coconut oil, something that began in the early part of the 1970s but fishing is still the second most vital commodity for Seychelles exports.  In addition to revenue being made from exporting tuna and other species of fish, earnings also come from fees for licensing to fish, which are paid by trawlers that come in from various foreign countries.  One big change was with the Seychelles Tuna Canning Factory, which was privatized in 1995 when 60% was purchased by a food company located in the United States.

Seychelles exports also depend on the plantation industry.  The most commonly grown crops include copra and cinnamon, which are common for this part of the world.  While copra is not a part of the Seychelles trade for exports, cinnamon is, with more than 315 tons being exported ten years ago.  While this amount is decent, unfortunately, it was also a decline from the year prior.  While plantation exports are still a part of the Seychelles trade, today Seychelles import consists of 90% of foods that the people consume with the exception of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as poultry, beer, pork, paint, cigarettes, and some plastics.

One of the challenges for the Seychelles trade is that most industries are small scale.  For many years, agriculture was the mainstay for this country but today, it is only 3% of the GDP.  Instead, the economy in terms of employment and gross revenue is dominated by enterprises owned by the state and the government.  While this country’s economy has grown stronger, it still has vulnerabilities.  Even the strong fishing industry for tuna has risks in that the climate for this region has changed in recent years.

Today, Seychelles exports are estimated around $312 million, which includes agricultural crops and foods of cinnamon, coconuts, vanilla, sweet potatoes, bananas, and cassava, tuna, and broiler chickens.  Petroleum products are also among the commodities for exporting.  The primary partners for trade of exports include the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Japan, Italy, and Germany.

On the other hand, Seychelles imports are estimated at almost $460 million, which includes partners with foreign countries such as South Africa, the United Kingdom, People’s Republic of China, Singapore, Italy, and France.  Imports associated with Seychelles trade include equipment, machinery, foods, and petroleum products.
 

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