Country Profile: Seychelles
Capital and largest cityVictoria
Official languagesEnglish, French, Seychellois Creole
Area451 sq km
Population82, 247 (2008 est.)
English and French are official languages in the Seychelles, but many people speak the French-based creole language Seychellois Creole (also known as Kreol and Seselwa), which shares oficial status.
Thanks to the tourism sector, which plays a vital role in bringing in foreign income to the Seychelles, the country's economy has grown rapidly in the past years. However, the government is now trying to minimise dependance on the tourist industry by expanding areas such as fishing, farming, and small-scale manufacturing. The government is also involved in widespread privatisation of services and industries. Industrial fishing, especially of tuna, is vital to the economy, and the Seychelles' main Tuna Canning Factory was taken over by Heinz and privatised. Although the Seychelles imports almost all of its food, exceptions include fruit, vegetables, fish, beer, poultry and pork. The country's main trading partners are the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Japan and Italy.
The Seychelles is completely reliant on fossil fuels for its energy source, and has also found large offshore gas and oil reserves which it is looking to harvest. Using non-renewable fuels has an extremely damaging impact on the environment, and so in the future, in order to protect the beauty of the natural landscape, the Seychelles will have to start finding more sustainable solutions to energy production.
The Seychelles has an extremely beautiful and diverse landscape, with a wealth of marine wildlife and many protected species. The country ensures that tourism is managed in a sustainable and ecological way, in order not to have a damaging effect upon the flora and fauna. Seychelles hosts some of the largest colonies of seabirds in the whole world as well as many giant tortoises.
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