Opening address by Secretary of State Patrick Payet at the SIB's Investment meeting
July 10, 2019
Chief Executive Officers
Representatives from different Government agencies
Members of the private sector
All protocol observe
It is my pleasure to welcome everyone to today’s investors’ meeting titled “Invest in the transition to sustainable fisheries”
Like many small island states, Seychelles’ economy is highly dependent on fisheries, marine habitats, and other blue economy sectors such as tourism. As the economy grew and fisheries became more exploited, the Seychelles recognised the need to protect and rebuild fish stocks through improved governance and management.
Recently, a lot has been said about the need to transition towards sustainable fisheries and the investment opportunities that exist to support with this transition. Statistics shows that the fish stock has declined more than 60% in the last three decades and fishers now have to travel further and fish for longer. The shift towards sustainable fisheries is not an option but a necessity; that will provide suitable alternatives to the thousands of people that are employed in the sector and one that can also provide investment opportunities in innovative ways to supply fisheries related products for our increasing population.
However, the costs of transitioning to sustainable fisheries can be significant for a small island state, in terms of both the implementation costs of management and the socioeconomic impacts as stocks are being rebuilt. The Republic of Seychelles has launched the world’s first Blue Bond—a pioneering financial instrument designed specifically to support sustainable marine and fisheries projects.
Seychelles was keen to explore innovative financial instruments for its development agenda, particularly since its graduation to a high-income country, which limits its access to grants and donor aid.
Members of the private sector present can attest that suitable financing avenues for this transition must be made readily available for investments to ensure the success of this transition. The meeting today has been organized with the sole objective of providing in-depth information as to the financing opportunities available for existing businesses to benefit and be part of the process.
Today we will hear four presentations; the first presentation from SWIOFISH 3 team will talk about the objectives, mission and the possible beneficiaries of the Blue Finance funds.
The Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SEYCCAT) will introduce the Blue Grants fund and the opportunity to fund research.
The Development Bank of Seychelles’ (DBS) presentation will be on the Blue Investment fund, a fund that has been set up to assist in the implementation of better fisheries management.
Last but the not least, the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) will explore the numerous investment opportunities available within the Blue Economy Sector; with a focus on investments to support this transition.
I would like to ask the members of the private sector present to take this opportunity to seek any clarifications, ask any questions and to engage in one to one discussion with the representatives gathered this morning.
Lastly, I would like to thank SIB for the organization of this investors’ meeting. I would also say a special mention to SEYCCAT, DBS and the team working on the SWIOFISH 3 project for their collaboration in the organization of this meeting.
I wish everyone present a fruitful deliberation.
I Thank You.