The Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) is actively following the development of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and is conscious of the negative impact that this pandemic is having on livelihoods.
As a global healthcare crisis that has been spreading at an alarming rate through person-to-person interaction, COVID-19 is particularly damaging to the economy as most countries across the globe put in place measures to contain local transmission cases and prevent imported cases.
For Seychelles, this has meant the closure of our borders with many countries, most of which are our main sources of tourists. As a direct result, we have seen cancellation of flights and subsequently, a shutdown of our tourism sector, which is the main pillar of our economy and the main source of foreign exchange earnings on which we are heavily reliant for imports.
The CBS is committed to ensuring the wellbeing of all economic players including businesses as well as individuals. In close collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning as well as the Seychelles Bankers Association, we are putting in place a number of measures to support the economy during this unprecedented situation and ensure that our actions are coordinated.
Measures taken to enable us to cope with the financial impact of this pandemic include amendments to relevant legislative frameworks, adjustment in the Monetary Policy Rate, setting-up of a credit facility to assist affected individuals and businesses with their cash flow, moratorium and rescheduling of loan facilities, new policy allowing CBS to buy-back and re-sell government securities, and the strategy on the use of our foreign exchange reserves.
We have also invoked our Business Continuity Plan which includes scaling-down of activities requiring face-to-face interaction, making more use of electronic modes of communication and facilitating working from home for the majority of our staff in line with our established Guidelines and Procedure, to ensure that we play our part in limiting the spread of COVID-19 while delivering on our core objective, which is to promote domestic price stability.
The CBS will provide up-to-date information on its policy actions to support the economy and promote a sound financial system in the face of dynamic developments related to the pandemic.