Seychelles has been working to attract foreign direct investment to support its economic development and growth. According to UNCTAD's 2022 World Investment Report, FDI inflows to Seychelles increased by 28.3% year-on-year in 2021, reaching USD 157 million compared to 122 million one year earlier and above the three-year average recorded before the pandemic (USD 152 million in 2017-19). FDI inward stock closed at USD 3.33 billion in 2021, representing around 227.8% of the country’s GDP. The majority of FDI has been directed to the tourism sector, with the construction of hotels, resorts, and luxury housing (including the Eden Island development project realized by South African investors, which includes over 500 apartments, villas, and commercial units, or the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island). Seychelles has also been promoting investment in aquaculture projects, including fish farming and seaweed cultivation. Among the main investing countries, there are China, India, the UAE, and France. The discovery of significant oil deposits on the coastlines of Seychelles is sparking new interest among investors (licenses for exploration and exploitation have been granted since 2013).
The Government of Seychelles has taken regulatory measures to create a suitable environment for foreign investment such as reducing the corporate tax rate. In addition, a skilled workforce, an efficient legal system based on the Napoleonic Civil Code, and transparent access to different legal sources concerning investment represent advantages for investors. Attractive sectors for investments include tourism, construction, alternative energies and the oil sector, as the country can count on an exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 1.3 million km2. However, risk factors include the existing black-market economy, limited export opportunities, excessive reliance on tourism (which indirectly accounts for more than half of GDP), and piracy. Furthermore, foreign investments are restricted in certain sectors in order to protect the public interest (including accommodation services of up to fifteen rooms, car hire, crop production, real estate agencies, travel agencies, etc.). The Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) is the national single gateway agency for the promotion and facilitation of investment in the country. The Agency also assists in screening potential investment projects in cooperation with other government agencies. Overall, Seychelles has a good business climate and the country ranks 87th out of 176 in the 2023 Index of Economic Freedom, as well as 23rd out of 180 in the 2022 Corruption Perception Index.
|Foreign Direct Investment||2020||2021||2022|
|FDI Inward Flow (million USD)||165||225||212|
|FDI Stock (million USD)||2,620||2,846||2,955|
|Number of Greenfield Investments*||3||1||2|
|Value of Greenfield Investments (million USD)||389||109||186|
Source: UNCTAD - Latest available data.
Note: * Greenfield Investments are a form of Foreign Direct Investment where a parent company starts a new venture in a foreign country by constructing new operational facilities from the ground up.
There are several good points that make Seychelles an attractive destination for foreign investors, including:
The challenges and drawbacks to consider when investing in Seychelles are:
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Latest Update: September 2023