Investors in maritime and fishing projects can send their proposals to the Seychelles Development Bank

Investors interested in sustainable marine activities and fishing projects in Seychelles can send their proposals to the Seychelles Development Bank, said a senior Bank official on Monday.

The first call for proposals to attract potential investors under the Blue Investment Fund was launched at a press conference organized by the Department of the Blue Economy.

Department chief secretary Kenneth Racombo said the $ 12 million blue bondsare specifically earmarked for value-added fisheries projects such as aquaculture.

The requirement "also targets projects using bycatch, which is then transformed into value-added products such as fish burger and will also open the door to those wishing to invest in a refrigerated truck," added Racombo.

Seychelles, an archipelago of the western Indian Ocean, launched the world's first sovereign blue bond last October to support maritime projects. The Blue Bond is backed by guarantees from the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility and aims to support Seychelles' transition to sustainable fisheries.

Bonds are financial instruments that mobilize public and private capital for specific activities that can generate a return on investment.

The chief executive of the Seychelles Development Bank (DBS), Daniel Gappy, said it was the first time the bank had undertaken such a project. All proposals must be submitted within the next eight weeks.

Interested investors "will first have to send their proposals to DBS. The proposal is then sent to the Department of the Blue Economy to determine if the project is sustainable. After that, the proposal is sent back to DBS to see if it will generate a return. If the required conditions are met, the investor will be eligible to acquire the loan, "said Gappy.

The fund will be disbursed in phases over a period of five years. A total of $ 3 million at a 4% interest rate was issued for the first call. All promoters will have to contribute 25% of the amount they will take and repay their loans over 15 years.

The Seychelles, one of the world's largest biodiversity areas, with an exclusive economic zone of 1.4 million square kilometers, reconciles the need to develop economically and protect its natural heritage.

Jan Robinson, who is in charge of the third project on fisheries governance and shared growth in the South West Indian Ocean (SWIOFish3), said the fund would be available to people who also want to conduct studies to identify potential investment areas in the fisheries sector.

"Although we encourage investment, we are very aware that in the value chain it can create more pressure on fisheries resources. Therefore, we have to be very careful about how we select projects, "said Robinson.

Fishing is the second largest contributor to the economy of the island nation of 96,000.

The proceeds of this requirement will also contribute to the World Bank's Governance and Shared Growth in Fisheries Program in the South West Indian Ocean, which helps countries in the region to sustainably manage their fisheries resources and increase economic benefits of their fisheries sector.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

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