Seychelles launches sovereign blue bond | Current Affairs, Current Affairs 2018

Seychelles launches sovereign blue bond

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The Republic of Seychelles has launched the world’s first sovereign blue bond — a financial instrument designed to support sustainable marine and fisheries projects.

Aimed at supporting the expansion of marine protected areas‚ improved governance of priority fisheries and the development of the Seychelles’ blue economy.

Making the announcement, Vincent Meriton‚ vice-president of Seychelles said, ‘We are honoured to be the first nation to pioneer such a novel financing instrument. The blue bond‚ which is part of an initiative that combines public and private investment to mobilise resources for empowering local communities and businesses‚ will greatly assist Seychelles in achieving a transition to sustainable fisheries and safeguarding our oceans while we sustainable develop our blue economy.

Marine resources are critical to the Seychelles’ economic growth. After tourism‚ the fisheries sector is the country’s most important industry‚ contributing significantly to annual GDP and employing 17% of the population. Fish products make up around 95% of domestic exports.

Proceeds from the bond will also contribute to the World Bank’s South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth Programme‚ which supports countries in the region to sustainably manage their fisheries and increase economic benefits from their fisheries sectors. The World Bank helped develop the blue bond. The three investors are Calvert Impact Capital‚ Nuveen and Prudential. The bond‚ which raised $15m from international investors‚ demonstrated the potential for countries to harness capital markets for financing the sustainable use of marine resources‚ said the World Bank.

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