SEYCHELLES
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Country:
Seychelles
Region:
All
Official languages:
English - French - Kreol
Time zone:
SCT (UTC+4)
Dialing code:
+248
Currency:
Seychellois rupee (SR)(SCR)
Seychelles, officially the Republic of Seychelles, is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The 155-island country, whose capital is Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Southeast Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Zanzibar to the west and Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, Réunion and Mauritius to the south.
Seychelles, with a population of 90,024, has the smallest population of any African state. Seychelles is a member of the African Union.
In 1971, with the opening of Seychelles International Airport, tourism became a significant industry, essentially dividing the economy into plantations and tourism. The tourism sector paid better, and the plantation economy could only expand so far. The plantation sector of the economy declined in prominence, and tourism became the primary industry of Seychelles.
In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and other services. These incentives have given rise to an enormous amount of investment in real estate projects and new resort properties, such as project TIME, distributed by the World Bank, along with its predecessor project MAGIC. Despite its growth, the vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 1991-1992 due largely to the Gulf War. Since then the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, small-scale manufacturing and most recently the offshore financial sector, through the establishment of the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA) and the enactment of several pieces of legislation (such as the International Corporate Service Providers Act, the International Business Companies Act, the Securities Act, the Mutual Funds and Hedge Fund Act, amongst others).
Part of the description above is taken from the Wikipedia article Seychelles with patent CC-BY-SA. The full list of those who have contributed to the drafting of the article is available here.