TDB's Admassu Tadasse: Seychelles should be proud of its economic recovery
Tadasse was in Seychelles from September 24-25. (Ministry of Finance)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The head of the Eastern and Southern Africa Trade Development Bank (TDB), Admassu Tadasse, was in Seychelles from September 24-25 with a delegation of four to look for new avenues to support the island nation.
TDB is already active in Seychelles in the field of tourism, real estate and telecommunication.
SNA presents an interview Tadasse gave to local media reporters.
What have been the highlights of your visit?
AT: We had a very proud moment a few days ago when we saw one of our clients [Cable and Wireless Seychelles] listing their shares on the exchange you have here. We know that is going to be followed up in due course with the second listing of a corporate bond in addition to the shares that were listed yesterday. At the same time, we have managed to follow up discussions with several other current clients and prospective clients on various projects that are on the radar screen of the government's development plan but also private sector interests. So, it's been a very productive and stimulating few days of visit here in Seychelles.
I've been here with several colleagues, there's four of us. We've had our hands full and we've had very productive meetings.
Why would TDB be interested in supporting Seychelles?
AT: TDB is a regional financial institution and Seychelles is one of the shareholders of TDB Bank, so of course, we are considered to be partly Seychellois. This is part of our region and is considered to be one of our responsibilities to support the development and transformation of Seychelles.
We've always been very committed to Seychelles. I had an excellent meeting with the President and it was a very good discussion. He gave us his perspective and his vision for Seychelles and we agree with his vision. We are doing everything we can to support the development in key sectors where we have competency.
That is partly why we are very committed. Seychelles has always been a very good member state for us, a country that respects its obligations, a country that participates fully in the bank and so of course we find it very productive to do business here in Seychelles.
How would you describe the bank's presence in Seychelles in terms of the volume of clients?
AT: The bank has had a very positive experience here in Seychelles. We've been associated with various projects mostly in the tourism sector, but also in the infrastructure sector, specifically telecommunications where we are looking at other sub-sectors of infrastructure going forward.
We are looking at supporting the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) sector as well as social infrastructure. Property real-estate-housing, are also sub-sectors we are looking to support. We've actually been looking at quite a few sectors.
Our footprints are not in that many sectors at this point in time but we've had a very positive experience on the tourism side, real estate side and telecommunications side.
|Tadasse with finance minister and governor of Central Bank of Seychelles. (Ministry of Finance, National Planning and Trade) Photo License: CC-BY
What will be the main focus of your additional support?
AT: We are looking at housing as part of a wider subset of property real estate development. There are different dimensions in housing and there is affordable housing in addition to touristic investment related housing. We are looking at all of those segments in the housing related market.
We've been associated with some very successful property development projects here that have really supported the economy, created jobs, and supported the tax base of the country. This is all part of the development process. We feel that there is an opportunity to get involved in housing as well, so that is why we are positive about that sector. We have not yet made any specific commitments but we're positive about it and looking to see what can be done.
How would you describe the economic evolution of Seychelles?
AT: Seychelles has come out of a difficult couple of years but it has rebounded very nicely. The growth over the past year even in 2022 and the year ahead is looking very positive. We are very proud of how Seychelles has recovered quickly from the pandemic.
Tourism has recovered and we are seeing other sectors also pick up. So, Seychelles is in quite a good place actually. I sometimes tell my stakeholders and partners here in Seychelles that they are actually sitting in a very good space and they should be proud of where they are right now.
Even when you look at inflation here it's among the lowest in the world right now - and not many people realise that. Of course, this is just a point in time, there will be stress as we go along but at the moment, I think Seychelles has managed this very turbulent global economic environment quite well.
Of course, it's not an excuse not to do more and to keep advancing important projects that are on the horizon. We know that the healthcare centre is something that the President is passionate about. We have a mandate to support healthcare products as well. We are also looking at that sector to see how we can help fulfill that side of the development agenda.
What are your views on the country's efforts to diversify its economy?
AT: It is very much a useful and important part of the development of Seychelles. It is not always understood everywhere that capital markets have an important contribution to make to development. It diversifies access to finance which is very important for the private sector. It commands different ways of finding funding for businesses. Capital markets are one such way.
It's not just good for businesses, but it's also good for savers - people who need to deploy their savings and their surplus capital. It promotes efficiency in the financial sector and it enables both borrowers and investors to come together in a mutually win-win manner.
Banks of course have an important role to play but it's also very healthy for capital markets to also be part of the equation. It's another way of strengthening the economic landscape of a country promoting the opportunities for businesses and also as a result of successful business growth you create jobs and you create knock on effects and other sub-sectors.