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Seychelles Economy

    Economy—overview: Since independence in 1976, per capita output in this Indian Ocean archipelago has expanded to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labor force and provides more than 70% of hard currency earnings, and by tuna fishing, which accounted for 70% of GDP in 1996-97. In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment in order to upgrade hotels and other services. At the same time, the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, and small-scale manufacturing. The vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 1991-92 due largely to the Gulf war. Although the industry has rebounded, the government recognizes the continuing need for upgrading the sector in the face of stiff international competition. Other issues facing the government are the curbing of the budget deficit and further privatization of public enterprises.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$550 million (1997 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 4.3% (1997 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$7,000 (1997 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 4%
    industry: 15%
    services: 81% (1994)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.6% (1997)

    Labor force: 26,000 (1996)

    Labor force—by occupation: industry 19%, services 57%, government 14%, fishing, agriculture, and forestry 10% (1989)

    Unemployment rate: NA%

    Budget:
    revenues: $220 million
    expenditures: $241 million, including capital expenditures of $36 million (1994 est.)

    Industries: fishing; tourism; processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages

    Industrial production growth rate: 4% (1992)

    Electricity—production: 125 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 100%
    hydro: 0%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 125 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (tapioca), bananas; broiler chickens; tuna fish

    Exports: $53 million ( f.o.b., 1995)

    Exports—commodities: fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports)

    Exports—partners: France, UK, China, Germany, Japan (1993)

    Imports: $340 million (c.i.f., 1997)

    Imports—commodities: manufactured goods, food, petroleum products, tobacco, beverages, machinery and transportation equipment

    Imports—partners: China, Singapore, South Africa, UK (1993)

    Debt—external: $170 million (1994 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $16.4 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Seychelles rupee (SRe) = 100 cents

    Exchange rates: Seychelles rupees (SRe) per US$1—5.4540 (January 1999), 5.2622 (1998), 5.0263 (1997), 4.9700 (1996), 4.7620 (1995), 5.0559 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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Revised 1-Mar-99
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