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About Seychelles

   

Introduction

The Seychelles group of islands in the Indian Ocean comprises over one hundred named islands, most being situated between four and five degrees South of the equator. The largest island is Mahé.

Population

The Seychelles has a population of around 80,000, descended primarily from French settlers, Africans, British sailors and traders from India, China and the Middle East.


Political structure

Discovery of the Islands is credited to the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama. The first French settlement was established on St. Anne Island on the 27th August 1770.
In 1814 the Seychelles, along with Mauritius, were ceded to Great Britain under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. It was only in 1960 that the first gradual constitutional reforms were introduced.
The Head of State is the President and a National Assembly of directly elected Members heads the legislative side of Government. Seychelles is an independent republic within the British Commonwealth.


Infrastructure and Economy

The Seychelles economy is primarily tourism and fishing based. Industrial fishing is on the increase.The rapidly expanding financial sector, linked to the establishment of the Seychelles International Business Authority and a suite of progressive laws facilitating the establishment of offshore structures and encouraging inward investment, is now a significant element of the economy.
An ever-increasing number of international banks and insurance companies have established either branches or subsidiaries whom, together with local management, accounting and legal firms provide clients with support.
The Port of Victoria is well equipped with modern cargo handling equipment and has more than 6,000 square metres of covered storage space.
The Seychelles International Airport is one of the finest in the Indian Ocean region. In addition to the national flag carrier, Air Seychelles, the airport is served by a number of other airlines.


Language

English is the official language. However, the population is largely bilingual, being equally fluent in English and French. Creole is also spoken and understood by everyone.



Currency

Seychelles Rupee.


Exchange control

Exchange controls do not apply to 'offshore' business.


Type of law

Based on English Common Law and French Civil Law.

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