Seychelles was hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. The authorities reacted swiftly, by locking down the economy, thereby keeping infection and fatality rates low. However, the travel restrictions and global economic downturn triggered unprecedented economic contraction. The authorities responded with measures to mitigate the economic fallout on businesses and households. But the public debt ratio increased sharply, reflecting the primary balance deterioration, exchange rate depreciation, and GDP contraction. As soon as vaccines became available, Seychelles led the world in vaccination coverage and reopened its borders. With tourist arrivals bouncing back, a V-shaped recovery is now expected.
This paper refers to Seychelles’ Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). The near-term economic fallout of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic is expected to be severe. Restriction in travel will hinder tourism and weaken fiscal and external positions, creating large additional financing needs. The authorities reacted swiftly by taking immediate measures of containment, including border closures, strengthening health policy responses and supporting households and firms. The emergency IMF support under the RFI provides timely resources to the authorities to address the urgent balance of payments and budgetary needs. The assistance of other international financial institutions and development partners is crucial to close the remaining financing gaps, ease the adjustment burden, and preserve economic growth. The authorities are committed to transparency and good governance in the use of emergency financing by providing monthly reports of pandemic-related expenditure to the National Assembly and undertaking an independent audit of such spending and procurement and publishing the results.
Mr. Bernardin Akitoby, Ms. Anja Baum, Clay Hackney, Olamide Harrison, Keyra Primus, and Ms. Veronique Salins
How do countries mobilize large tax revenue—defined as an average increase in the tax-to-GDP
ratio of 0.5 percent per year over three years or more? To answer this question, we build a novel
dataset covering 55 episodes of large tax revenue mobilization in low-income countries and
emerging markets. We find that: (i) reforms of indirect taxes and exemptions are the most common
tax policy measures; (ii) multi-pronged tax administration reforms often go hand in hand with tax
policy measures or are stand alone; and (iii) sustainability of the episodes hinges on tax
administration reforms in the key compliance areas (risk-based audits, registration, filing, payment,
This paper discusses Seychelles’ Request for a Three-Year Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI) and Ex Post Assessment of Longer-Term Program Engagement. The PCI for Seychelles will build on the lessons from the previous programs supported by the IMF. It aims to support the authorities’ efforts to consolidate macroeconomic stabilization and foster sustained and inclusive growth. While the PCI involves no use of IMF resources, successful completion of program reviews would help signal Seychelles’ commitment to continued strong economic policies and structural reforms. Risks to the program are considered moderate given Seychelles’ impressive track record under the successive IMF arrangements. The IMF staff support the authorities’ request for a PCI.
This note highlights the unique economic characteristics and constraints facing small developing states. It provides operational guidance on Fund engagement with such countries, including on how small country size might influence the use of Fund facilities and instruments, program design, capacity building activities, and collaboration with other institutions and donors. The guidance note draws on the March 2013 Board papers on small states and the associated Executive Board discussion. The findings of the paper and implications for Fund engagement with small states were presented to small states authorities during the 2013 Annual Meetings, as well as in regional IMF conferences with small states in the Bahamas (September 2013) and Vanuatu (November 2013).
This paper is an account of Seychelles’ monetary efforts to establish its position in 2012. After the recovery in 2008, the country had solid growth through 2011. The important threat was external risks, which could lower tourist inflows, and piracy. Alternatively, the authorities were vigilant, and organized the state by strengthening state enterprises, introducing new reforms to eradicate obstacles to the private sector, and the increasing bills for monetary purposes. The Executive Board acknowledges that these policies enhanced a positive outlook for the country.
This paper discusses key findings of the Third Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement for Seychelles. The program is on track, and macroeconomic stabilization has advanced rapidly. The authorities continue to implement the program with a high degree of ownership and success. All quantitative performance criteria (PC) and structural benchmarks at end-September 2009 were met. The structural reform effort is progressing well. Key progress has been made on public financial management, notably through the treasury single account. The 2010 budget features a much improved and complete presentation of government finance.
This Selected Issues paper for Seychelles argues that sound fiscal policies and smaller governments can be conducive to growth and help reduce a country’s economic vulnerability. Growth in Seychelles has been volatile and underperformed most small states from 1998 to 2005. Seychelles’s revenues, expenditures, and total public debt are higher after an improvement in 2003. Its fiscal balance has worsened and has been weaker in comparison with most small states for most of the period. Seychelles’s expenditure composition is most similar to that of low-growth small states.
This paper presents Seychelles’ 2008 Article IV Consultation and Request for a Stand-By Arrangement. Large macroeconomic imbalances and vulnerabilities resulting from longstanding unsustainable macroeconomic policies, combined with recent external shocks, culminated in mid-2008 with the near-exhaustion of foreign reserves and missed payments on public debt obligations. Growth is declining, and inflation has risen sharply. The pegged exchange rate that was incompatible with fundamentals, together with a complex system of exchange restrictions and controls, has resulted in economic dislocation, a parallel exchange market, and pervasive dollarization.