Seychelles

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011
Flag of Seychelles
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Seychelles
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Map of Seychelles
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Introduction

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A lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter. Independence came in 1976. Socialist rule was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993. President France-Albert RENE, who had served since 1977, was re-elected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004. Vice President James MICHEL took over the presidency and in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year term.
 
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Geography

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archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar
 
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4 35 S, 55 40 E
 
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total: 455 sq km
country comparison to the world: 199
land: 455 sq km
water: 0 sq km
 
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2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
 
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0 km
 
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491 km
 
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territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
 
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tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)
 
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Mahe Group is granitic, narrow coastal strip, rocky, hilly; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs
 
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lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morne Seychellois 905 m
 
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fish, copra, cinnamon trees
 
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arable land: 2.17%
permanent crops: 13.04%
other: 84.79% (2005)
 
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3 sq km (2008)
 
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lies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; short droughts possible
 
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water supply depends on catchments to collect rainwater
 
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
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41 granitic and about 75 coralline islands
 
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People and Society

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noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
adjective: Seychellois
 
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mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab
 
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Creole 91.8%, English (official) 4.9%, other 3.1%, unspecified 0.2% (2002 census)
 
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Roman Catholic 82.3%, Protestant 7.5% (Anglican 6.4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.1%), other Christian 3.4%, Hindu 2.1%, Muslim 1.1%, other non-Christian 1.5%, unspecified 1.5%, none 0.6% (2002 census)
 
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89,188 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
 
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0-14 years: 21.9% (male 9,987/female 9,501)
15-64 years: 71% (male 33,044/female 30,277)
65 years and over: 7.2% (male 2,399/female 3,980) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 32.5 years
male: 32 years
female: 33 years (2011 est.)
 
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0.945% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
 
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15.33 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
 
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6.91 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
 
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1.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
 
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urban population: 55% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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VICTORIA (capital) 26,000 (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.031 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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total: 11.66 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 137
male: 14.62 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 73.52 years
country comparison to the world: 116
male: 68.87 years
female: 78.32 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.91 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
 
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4% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 160
 
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1.51 physicians/1,000 population (2004)
country comparison to the world: 78
 
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3.94 beds/1,000 population (2009)
country comparison to the world: 52
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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25.1% (2004)
country comparison to the world: 11
 
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5% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 56
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.8%
male: 91.4%
female: 92.3% (2002 census)
 
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total: 15 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2008)
 
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total: 20.3% (2002)
country comparison to the world: 54
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
conventional short form: Seychelles
local long form: Republic of Seychelles
local short form: Seychelles
 
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republic
 
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name: Victoria
geographic coordinates: 4 38 S, 55 27 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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23 administrative districts; Anse aux Pins, Anse Boileau, Anse Etoile, Anse Louis, Anse Royale, Baie Lazare, Baie Sainte Anne, Beau Vallon, Bel Air, Bel Ombre, Cascade, Glacis, Grand' Anse (on Mahe), Grand' Anse (on Praslin), La Digue, La Riviere Anglaise, Mont Buxton, Mont Fleuri, Plaisance, Pointe La Rue, Port Glaud, Saint Louis, Takamaka
 
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29 June 1976 (from the UK)
 
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Constitution Day (National Day), 18 June (1993)
 
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18 June 1993
 
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mixed legal system of English common law, French civil law, and customary law
 
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has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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17 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: President James Alix MICHEL (since 14 April 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President James Alix MICHEL (since 14 April 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
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elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for two more terms); election last held on 19-21 May 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: President James MICHEL elected president; percent of vote - James MICHEL 55.5%, Wavel RAMKALAWAN 41.4%, Philippe BOULLE 1.7%, Ralph VOLCERE 1.5%; note - this was the second election in which President James MICHEL participated; he was originally sworn in as president after former president France Albert RENE stepped down in April 2004
 
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unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (34 seats; 25 members elected by popular vote, 9 allocated on a proportional basis to parties winning at least 10% of the vote; members to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 29 September - 1 October 2011 (next to be held in 2016); note - the National Assembly was dissolved in July 2011 resulting in early elections
election results: percent of vote by party - PL 88.6%, PDM 10.9%, independents 0.6%; seats by party - PL 31, vacant - 3; note - the ruling SPPF changed its name to People's Party (Party Lepep) in June 2009; the SNP and NDP boycotted the 2011 elections
 
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Court of Appeal; Supreme Court; judges for both courts are appointed by the president
 
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Democratic Party or DP [James MANCHAM, Paul CHOW]; New Democratic Party or NDP; People's Party (Parti Lepep) or PL [France Albert RENE]; Popular Democratic Movement or PDM; Seychelles National Party or SNP [Wavel RAMKALAWAN] (formerly the United Opposition or UO)
 
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Roman Catholic Church
other: trade unions
 
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ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, C, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Jean Ronald JUMEAU
chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400C, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 972-1785
FAX: [1] (212) 972-1786
 
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the US does not have an embassy in Seychelles; the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Seychelles
 
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five oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side; the oblique bands are meant to symbolize a dynamic new country moving into the future; blue represents sky and sea, yellow the sun giving light and life, red the peoples' determination to work for the future in unity and love, white social justice and harmony, green the land and natural environment
 
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name: "Koste Seselwa" (Seychellois Unite)
lyrics/music: David Francois Marc ANDRE and George Charles Robert PAYET
note: adopted 1996
 
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Economy

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Since independence in 1976, per capita output in this Indian Ocean archipelago has expanded to roughly seven times the pre-independence, near-subsistence level, moving the island into the upper-middle income group of countries. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labor force and provides more than 70% of hard currency earnings, and by tuna fishing. In recent years, the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and other services. At the same time, the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, and small-scale manufacturing. GDP grew about 7-8% per year in 2006-07, driven by tourism and a boom in tourism-related construction. The Seychelles rupee was allowed to depreciate in 2006 after being overvalued for years and fell by 10% in the first 9 months of 2007. Despite these actions, the Seychelles economy has struggled to maintain its gains and in 2008 suffered from food and oil price shocks, a foreign exchange shortage, high inflation, large financing gaps, and the global recession. In July 2008 the government defaulted on a Euro amortizing note worth roughly US$80 million, leading to a downgrading of Seychelles credit rating, but in October 2010 the EU approved a $2.9 million grant as part of a larger four-year program for Seychelles. In response to Seychelles successful implementation of tighter monetary and fiscal policies, the IMF upgraded Seychelles to a three-year extended fund facility (EFF) of $31 million in December 2009. In 2008, GDP fell more than 1% due to declining tourism, but the economy recovered in 2009-10 with a notable increase in tourist numbers for 2010.
 
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$2.053 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
$1.932 billion (2009 est.)
$1.919 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$936 million (2010 est.)
 
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6.2% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
0.7% (2009 est.)
-1.3% (2008 est.)
 
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$23,200 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
$22,100 (2009 est.)
$22,200 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 1.9%
industry: 18.9%
services: 79.1% (2010 est.)
 
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39,560 (2006)
country comparison to the world: 196
 
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agriculture: 3%
industry: 23%
services: 74% (2006)
 
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2% (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
 
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NA%
 
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lowest 10%: 4.7%
highest 10%: 15.4%
 
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65.8 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 2
 
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29% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
 
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revenues: $339.7 million
expenditures: $314.9 million (2010 est.)
 
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36.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59
 
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2.7% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
 
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53.4% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
59.2% of GDP (2009 est.)
 
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-2.4% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
31.8% (2009 est.)
 
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11.17% (31 December 2010 est.)
NA% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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12.703% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
15.347% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$319.9 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
$290.9 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$458.3 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
$425.7 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$479 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166
$441.2 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$NA
 
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coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (tapioca), copra, bananas; poultry; tuna
 
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fishing, tourism, processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages
 
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2% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
 
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260 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
 
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241.8 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201
 
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8,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
 
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0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
 
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6,203 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187
 
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-$420.1 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
-$253.1 million (2009 est.)
 
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$407.3 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
$432.5 million (2009 est.)
 
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canned tuna, frozen fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports)
 
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UK 19%, France 17.7%, Italy 11.1%, Japan 10.8%, Thailand 7% (2010)
 
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$915.6 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
$780.4 million (2009 est.)
 
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machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals, other manufactured goods
 
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Saudi Arabia 21.1%, South Africa 8.4%, France 6.8%, Spain 6.6%, Singapore 6%, Italy 4.7% (2010)
 
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$235.6 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
$190.6 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$1.526 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
$1.624 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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Seychelles rupees (SCR) per US dollar -
12.221 (2010)
13.61 (2009)
8 (2008)
6.5 (2007)
5.5 (2006)
 
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Communications

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22,000 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 187
 
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117,600 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 187
 
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general assessment: effective system
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is 130 telephones per 100 persons; radiotelephone communications between islands in the archipelago
international: country code - 248; direct radiotelephone communications with adjacent island countries and African coastal countries; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
 
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the government operates the only terrestrial TV station, which provides local programming and airs broadcasts from international services; multi-channel cable and satellite TV are available via subscription; the government operates 1 AM and 1 FM radio station; transmissions of 2 international broadcasters are accessible in Victoria (2007)
 
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.sc
 
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256 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 187
 
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32,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 180
 
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Transportation

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14 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 149
 
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total: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 1 (2010)
 
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total: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 5 (2010)
 
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total: 508 km
country comparison to the world: 194
paved: 490 km
unpaved: 18 km (2008)
 
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total: 9
country comparison to the world: 119
by type: cargo 1, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6, petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 3 (Hong Kong 1, Nigeria 1, South Africa 1) (2010)
 
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Victoria
 
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Military

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Seychelles Defense Force: Army, Coast Guard (includes Naval Wing, Air Wing), National Guard (2005)
 
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18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription (2010)
 
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males age 16-49: 26,257
females age 16-49: 23,996 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 20,231
females age 16-49: 19,891 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 686
female: 650 (2010 est.)
 
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2% of GDP (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
 
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Transnational Issues

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Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Islands (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)
 
 
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