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On Thursday, March 27, 2014, Pierre Laporte, Minister for Finance, Trade and Investment of the Republic of Seychelles, met the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning and Social Security, other members of the Cabinet of Ministers, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Prime Minister, to discuss and share experiences on economic matters.
Minister Laporte was in Saint Lucia to represent Seychelles at the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference.
Minister Laporte shared Seychelles’ experience in dealing with an economic crisis faced by that country in 2007/2008. In 2008, Seychelles was faced with $800 million in sovereign debt, amounting to 175 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Reforms and debt restructuring programs implemented in Seychelles from 2008, have led to a reduction in the DEBT/GDP ratio to 70 percent at the end of June 2013.
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony has described the meeting as “interesting,” and said that there is a lot to learn from Seychelles’ experience with economic adjustment.
“Despite the distance between our two countries, Seychelles and Saint Lucia have a lot in common. With a population of 84, 000 people, Seychelles depends heavily on the Tourism Sector and interestingly, they speak creole. I had an opportunity to share Saint Lucia’s economic challenges and to learn from the Minister for Finance what adjustment policies were implemented in Seychelles in 2008 to deal with an economic crisis faced by their island back then. It was very instructive to get an idea of the country’s response to the reform policies. Hon. Laporte was generous enough to share his thoughts on various approaches to Saint Lucia’s realities,” Anthony said.
Pierre Laporte served previously as the governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles, and has also worked as an economist at the International Monetary Fund.
Seychelles has been hailed by many international agencies as an example to small states, many of which are characterised by low or negative growth and high debt.