Foreign policy and defense
Foreign policy, Seychelles has followed an
alliance-free line. During the 1980s, the country
established ties to socialist regimes, but relations
were also maintained with Western countries. Contacts
with the West have been strengthened in recent years as
Seychelles have needed help in fighting Somali pirates.
The one-party socialist state cooperated with
countries such as the Soviet Union, Cuba, Libya and
North Korea. But there was also an exchange with the
United States, which gave Seychelles a good pay for
having a satellite station at Mahé (which was closed in
1996). Good relations with the western world are
important both for the country to receive aid money and
Overview of business holidays and various national observances in Seychelles for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025.
Successful fight against pirates
From 2009, piracy appeared to be a growing problem.
The pirates from Somalia threatened both fishing and
tourism. The Seychelles signed financial and military
support agreements with the US, UK, France and the EU to
help protect themselves from pirates. The United States
stationed drones (driverless aircraft) on the islands to
monitor the pirates. China, India and the United Arab
Emirates also helped.
In 2010, the Seychelles passed a new law to convict
arrested pirates. In July of that year, for the first
time, pirates were sentenced to prison by a Seychelles
court. In 2012, Seychelles was the country in the world
with the highest proportion of pirates in their prisons.
That same year, the Seychelles began sending sentenced
pirates back to Somalia to serve their prison sentences
there. In 2013, the UN established a regional
anti-piracy office in Seychelles. Later that year, the
center received an extended mandate to also monitor
other maritime crimes, such as smuggling of people,
weapons and drugs. The fight against the pirates has
produced results; although pirates still pose a threat,
their operations in the region have declined
significantly since 2012.
China and India important partners
Contacts have been strengthened during the 2000s with
China, which the government hopes will invest more in
the country. In February 2007, Chinese President Hu
Jintao made a quick visit to Seychelles in connection
with a tour of the region. It was the first time a
Chinese president visited the islands. In 2011, the two
countries agreed that the Seychelles should be able to
assist Chinese naval vessels in the Indian Ocean with
refueling and supplies. In 2013, visa rules were
simplified between countries.
The Seychelles also care about good relations with
India. In 2005, President Michel visited India, which
then financially supported the island's economic reforms
and wrote off parts of Seychelles' debt to the country.
Further write-offs were made after a new presidential
visit to New Delhi in 2010, when India also promised
investments in Seychelles.
Strengthened regional cooperation
Seychelles has invested in strengthening regional
cooperation with the other Indian Ocean nations.
Together with Mauritius and Madagascar, the country
formed the Commission of the Indian Ocean (IOC) in 1983.
Later, the Comoros and France (as representative of
Reunion) also joined. Closer relations with the
neighbors in the Indian Ocean were also part of the new
foreign policy line presented by the government in 2005.
The initiative included renewed support for regional
organizations and the marketing of the Seychelles as a
unique and safe tourist destination. In addition, the
government would increase efforts to protect the
Seychelles is a member of the African Union (AU) and
the regional cooperation organization SADC (Southern
African Development Community). Membership of SADC
facilitates relations with the African mainland. In
April 2015, Seychelles joined the World Trade
Organization after 18 years of negotiations.
After independence in 1977, the Seychelles defense
forces were trained by Tanzania. Defense has been
greatly reduced since the early 1990s. After the end of
the Cold War, the Seychelles relied primarily on India
and the United States for military support. Alongside
the army is a Coast Guard and a small air force of 20
men. The Seychelles are contributing soldiers to the
AU's peacekeeping forces.
FACTS - DEFENSE
200 men (2017)
The air Force
20 men (2017)
200 men (2017)
Military expenditure's share of GDP
1.6 percent (2017)
Military spending's share of the state budget
3.6 percent (2017)