The Central Bank of Seychelles and the Seychelles Investment Board, on Wednesday opened a two-day leasing investment forum under the theme “Unlocking access to finance, investment and economic growth through leasing” to introduce the tools necessary to create a sustainable and dynamic leasing sector in Seychelles.
According to a recent study, 94 percent of Seychellois are banked, making Seychelles the most financially included country in the Southern African Development Community. However, they often lack the credit history or collateral required for traditional forms of bank financing necessary to start or expand their businesses. Based on the premise that income is earned through the use of assets, rather than from their ownership, leasing is an innovative alternative form of financing particularly adapted to small businesses that enables them to finance the equipment they need to do just that.
Caroline Abel, Governor, Central Bank of Seychelles, said, “Leasing holds the potential to revolutionize the way businesses access finance. It is as much an innovative financing tool—offering micro, small and medium-sized enterprises much needed financing to invest in equipment—as it is a catalyst to increased investment, employment, and economic growth.”
Angelique Antat, CEO, Seychelles Investment Board, said, “Seychelles’ tourism, agriculture, fisheries, renewable energy, manufacturing, transport and financial services sectors, amongst many others are all ripe for investment. Leasing can help harness these opportunities. Investing in Seychelles at this juncture is a smart choice considering the introduction of innovative financial instruments.”
The forum gathered more than 150 local and international participants including government officials, international leasing experts, financial institution representatives, and equipment suppliers who discussed and shared experiences about how to best leverage the untapped potential for leasing in Seychelles.
Satyam Ramnauth, IFC Country Manager for Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles, said, “Since 2014, IFC has partnered with the Central Bank of Seychelles to help lay the foundation necessary to create a flourishing and sustainable leasing market. Increasing awareness and participation of all local and regional stakeholders in leasing business development is key to supporting new funding opportunities for private sector development in Seychelles.”