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Synopsis

The Seychelles is a group of 115 small islands located at the centre of the Indian Ocean to the north of Madagascar off the African coast. Map

They were uninhabited until the 17th century and have since been occupied by both the French and the British. They were granted independence from Britain in 1976 and have continued to enjoy major economic, social and political developments. They are now a presidential republic which forms part of the Commonwealth.

The population of 73,000 is a multi-lingual mixture of African, Indian, Chinese and European, although English is the official language. The majority of the population live on the main island of Mahe. The mainstay of the economy is tourism, although fishing and the development of the jurisdiction as an international business centre contribute.

In 1993 a new constitution was drafted and democratic multi-party elections were held. The Government of the day implemented legislation designed to turn the country into an international business centre. Legislation covered the registration of international business companies and international trusts as well as establishing an international trade zone.