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.
In 2008, having depleted its foreign exchange reserves, Seychelles defaulted on interest payments due on a $230 million Eurobond, requested assistance from the IMF, and immediately enacted a number of significant structural reforms, including liberalization of the exchange rate, reform of the public sector to include layoffs, and the sale of some state assets. In December 2013, the IMF declared that Seychelles had successfully transitioned to a market-based economy with full employment and a fiscal surplus. Seychelles grew at 4.3% in 2015 because of a strong tourist sector and expanding private sector credits; its fiscal surplus reached 4% of GDP.
Seychelles was designated as AGOA Eligible Country on October 2nd 2000. Seychelles has not yet been declared eligible for Apparel Provision and does not benefit the Lesser Developed Country Special Rule for Apparel (3rd country fabric) nor Lesser Developed Country Rule for Certain Textile Articles (Category 0). Regarding the Category 9 Textile Products, Seychelles is not yet eligible to export Handloomed / Handmade, nor the folklore annex and ethnic printed fabrics.