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SIBA Awards

SIBA marks 15 years with call for diversity

14th December 2009

OCRA (Seychelles) Limited has received awards by SIBA on their 15th year anniversary celebration as the first international service provider to incorporate a batch of international business companies.

Seychelles as an offshore jurisdiction will have to revamp itself or be left behind, the chief executive of the Seychelles International Business Authority Steve Fanny said on Thursday.

Speaking in a ceremony to mark the 15th anniversary of SIBA, Mr Fanny said diversification our products’ portfolio is key to the industry’s progress and said we should for example “get more offshore banks to Seychelles to ensure that we are the favourable jurisdiction.

“Some claimed if we allow foreign lawyers to practice in the industry, we will lose business. My question is how you can lose something that we do not have. We have to be truthful in recognising that we do not have the expertise to serve the blue chip companies, nor the portfolio of client that an international law firm will bring to Seychelles,” he said at event which was held at Le Meridien Barbarons hotel.

“We need to start thinking about the future of the financial services industry when low taxation, secrecy and selling cheap International Business Companies are no longer the motives for going offshore.”

Mr Fanny recalled that 15 years ago the government made a decision to venture into the offshore industry with the aim of diversifying our economic base and create a new pillar to the economy.

“The journey has been challenging and there had been time when we have been black listed, grey listed but we have stayed focus in our quest of propelling the jurisdiction forward and gaining recognition as a serious offshore jurisdiction.

“The realities of the contemporary international business and investment place the demand on effective money management, wealth preservation, and tax and estate planning.

“While continuing to address legitimate issues such as political risk, asset protection, forced heirship, and the efficient international transfer of capital,” he said.

During the ceremony, SIBA presented awards to those who have contributed towards the successful achievement of the Seychelles financial services industry.

They included President James Michel whose award was collected by the secretary of state Jean-Paul Adam, the outgoing chairman of SIBA Conrad Benoiton who was the authority’s first managing director of SIBA, principal secretary for finance Ahmed Afif, a former MD of SIBA, Phillipe Boulle and Simon Mitchel.

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OCRA (Seychelles) Limited is licensed to provide International Corporate Services in accordance with Section 3(5) of the International Corporate Service Providers Act, 2003 by the Financial Services Authority.