Germany and the Seychelles
The Republic of Seychelles became independent on 29th June 1976. On 3rd July 1976 the Seychelles and the German Democratic Republic of Germany established diplomatic relations. The Federal Republic of Germany followed on 18th January 1977. Political relations are good and the bilateral cooperation is harmonious and friendly.
The foreign policy of the Seychelles, a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), is determined by the geographical position between Africa and South Asia, the necessity of a sustainable use of resources and a dependency on imports.
The Seychelles suffered a serious economic crisis in 2008, and has since implemented a successful reform program with the help of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but remains susceptible to external shocks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the economy badly.
In 2019, 72,500 Germans visited the islands making the German market the top market for the Seychelles with an increase of 18 percent compared to the previous year. Accounting for some 26 percent of gross domestic product, tourism has been the principal economic sector and one of the country’s main sources of foreign currency, along with the fishing industry and financial services sector.
German tourists as well as businesses active in the field of renewable energy form the backbone of direct economic exchange between Germany and Seychelles. In 2017, bilateral trade was worth 30.9 million US dollars. Germany exported goods worth 16.6 million US dollars to Seychelles, mainly machinery, electrical and optical goods. German imports from Seychelles mainly fish and fish products, amounted to 14.3 million US dollars.
On account of the country’s relatively high per capita income compared with sub-Saharan Africa (over USD 16,434 in 2018), Seychelles is not a partner country of German development cooperation. It does, however, have cooperation agreements with the IMF and the World Bank as well as the EU and the African Development Bank.
The Seychelles is successfully promoting the use of renewable energy: the country’s first environmentally friendly electricity has been produced by wind turbines since 2013. There have been some solar energy projects being conducted by German companies as part of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy’s Renewable Energy Export Initiative. The Seychelles is championing the “Blue Economy” as a mechanism to realize sustainable economic development based around an ocean-based economy.
The Seychelles are clearly committed to environmental and climate protection. With regard to the preservation of maritime natural resources as well as the protection of the approx. 120 island vegetation, the Seychelles stands up for the fight against climate change, sustainable development and environmental protection in regional and international organizations.
In the context of the international climate initiative the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), supports the Seychelles in seven regional projects. More background information about this can be found here: International Climate Initiative and here.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers scholarships to study, teach or research in Germany and Seychelles. In 2018, 8 German Scholars were in the Seychelles and 3 scholarship holders from the Seychelles in Germany.
In September 2018, the Rombergpark Botanical Gardens in Dortmund signed an agreement with the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens on the exchange of scientists, experts and technical staff and on mutual assistance in the fields of horticulture, ecology, education, conservation of diversity and research.
English, French and Creole are the official languages in the Seychelles.
The government controls much of the islands' media, and operates radio and TV stations as well as the daily newspaper “Seychelles Nation”. In the course of the democratic opening process independent newspapers have been established.
There is no double taxation agreement between the Seychelles and Germany.
German interests in Seychelles are represented by an honorary consul in Victoria Honorary Consul Seychelles