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Victoria, Seychelles

Institutional strengthening of Seychelles' Ministry of Finance

Seychelles' Ministry of Finance requested technical assistance to facilitate the process of Seychelles' accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), whilst building the institutional and technical capacity within the Trade Division.

Country: The Republic of Seychelles
Host: Ministry of Finance 
Start date: 14/01/2013
End date: 14/01/2015
Policy area: Economic Policy
Policy expert: Teddy Soobramanien
Project manager: Pauline Campbell

Background

The Republic of Seychelles sought to advance to World Trade Organization (WTO) Accession but with limited expertise and experience in dealing with the range of bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations that are involved. While accession to WTO responded to the specific need for improved market access to WTO members’ markets, the primary motivation was to participate in the multilateral trading system (MTS) in a more systematic and beneficial manner.  

Technical assistance in Seychelles was aimed at developing and delivering the WTO Accession Road Map and provision of expertise in negotiations for accession to WTO and other trade negotiations. In the process the project identified and advised on the necessary adaptation of existing domestic trade policy and advised on negotiation strategies for multilateral, bilateral and regional trade negotiations.

Goal

The purpose of this project was to facilitate the process of Seychelles' accession to the WTO, while building the institutional and technical capacity within the Trade Division, Ministry of Finance and Trade and facilitate the Government of Seychelles in advancing its trade and development interest in the multilateral trading system.

Impact

In achieving WTO accession, Seychelles benefitted from the same treatment accorded to other members, such as market access for goods and services. Seychelles also benefitted from the security and predictability offered by the multilateral trading system, e.g. the dispute settlement mechanism.

The Ministry of Finance benefitted from the mentoring of Trade Section staff, which enhanced staff capability.

Once the project was completed and the Seychelles successfully acceded the WTO, there were further positive spill-over gains for the population contributing to the social and economic development of the country. 

Outputs
  1. The process of WTO Accession built technical and human capacity within the Seychelles' Ministry of Finance, Trade Division, notably in the areas of trade negotiations and trade policy formulation.  
  2. Key legislation was drafted for WTO accession.  
  3. The accession process led the Seychelles to enact trade related legislation which were WTO compatible whilst creating an enabling environment for bilateral business development and attracting foreign direct investment.  
  4. Director-General of the Trade Division, Cillia Mangroo and the Seychelles Chief Negotiator, Charles Morin openly expressed satisfaction with the performance of the project. 
  5. All the necessary WTO compliant Bills including: Bureau of Standards Act; Industrial Property Act; Copyright Act; Food Act; Animal and Plant Biosecurity Act; and the Customs Act were enacted by the Parliament of Seychelles and a suite of resulting regulations completed.  
  6. Seychelles completed all of its bilateral agreements and technical obligations and at the final Working Party Meeting on Friday 17 October, WTO adopted Seychelles’ accession package.
  7. On 26 April 2015, the WTO welcomed Seychelles as its 161st Member.