Third edition of ‘Ease of doing business’ targets inner islands |02 November 2023
President Wavel Ramkalawan on Tuesday addressed the third edition of the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ session, held on Praslin.
This is part of a series of sessions with government stakeholders aimed at improving customer service delivery between government stakeholders and businesses.
The session, which was held at the Pension Fund building in Grand Anse, saw the participation of government representatives from various departments from the inner islands.
In his address, President Ramkalawan stated he was well aware of what goes on in government departments on Praslin and La Digue and often intervenes to get things moving.
“It is unacceptable for us, as public servants, to not do our best to assist businesses knocking on our doors. Everyone has equal opportunities under the Seychelles sun and let us not be the barrier that causes missed opportunities. Instead, let us facilitate the ease of doing business and show our customers that we want them to succeed. Let us reduce complaints, show more interest in our customers and find better ways to encourage an easier access to doing businesses.”
President Ramkalawan also reiterated the role of liaison officers on both islands, and how important it is for government representatives to maintain a close relationship with them.
For her part, the Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship & Industry, Devika Vidot, said that as government they are ready to become the initial body that kickstarts digitalisation of procedures and processes to improve the ease of doing business as well as fast track processes.
“We wish to be able to untangle the hands of businesses. Where there are no frameworks or policies for a particular line of business, let us use our initiative to assist applicants. Let us facilitate business instead of becoming a barrier for start-ups. When someone submits an application, let us remain engaged and focussed to try and assist the individual as best and timely as possible,” Minister Vidot stated.
She added that they were also making certain proposals to improve the general ease of doing business and that working in ‘silos’ would definitely have to stop.
“We shall establish new standards of operation, for example educating businesses about the necessary requirements when submitting applications. Customer feedback forms will also be introduced to later be consolidated and reported to the President’s Office to follow progress made. Policies and frameworks that ought to be reviewed will be done to allow us to better meet and exceed customer expectations with more transparent processing and closer monitoring.”
Minister Vidot said businesses are heavily impacted by the often lack of interest to provide timely support and therefore a consequences framework will be established to ensure that public servants take responsibility for their shortcomings.
“This is a new mind set but it has to be done in order for us to improve our service delivery and become accountable for our action and service rendered. Of course this will run parallel to the newly introduced results based management framework from the Public Services Bureau.”
She added that the private sector was dominant on the inner islands and it was therefore imperative that the public service becomes more proactive, committed and better partners to the businesses.
The session also included a presentation by the chief executive of the Seychelles Licensing Authority, Ronny Antat, which focussed on the importance of improving the ease of doing business and an interactive session whereby participants could discuss and come up with proposals on how best to work together and improve service delivery to the inner island business community.
Photos: Romano Laurence