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2019, január 18 - 18:00

EU and Seychelles celebrate 40 years of ‘solid partnership’

The European Union and the Seychelles celebrated 40 years of solid partnership in a cocktail reception held on Tuesday night at Le Méridien Fisherman’s Cove hotel.

It is a partnership which dates back to 1977 when they signed their first ever bilateral programme which covered social infrastructure and rural development.

The reception also marked the 60 years of the Treaty of Rome which is considered as the treaty which established the European Economic Community.

Present at the ceremony were President Danny Faure, Vice-President Vincent Meriton, Designated Minister Macsuzy Mondon, EU ambassador to the Seychelles Marjaana Sall, ambassadors from various EU countries, officials from the government, members of the National Assembly and other distinguished guests.

In her speech to mark the occasion, Mrs Sall commented that the EU-Seychelles partnership has evolved over the years and now goes beyond the traditional development aid logic, reflecting new opportunities and global challenges.

She explained that the EU and Seychelles have collaborated and helped each other in a number of topics that are of mutual economic interests such as climate change, maritime security, trade and investment and sustainable fisheries.

She further commended Seychelles on its active role in maritime security in the Indian Ocean which is also of great priority to the EU.

At the same time, Mrs Sall thanked President Faure for his involvement on maritime security in the fourth ‘Our Ocean’ conference held in Malta last week, adding that this bears testimony to Seychelles commitment in maintaining its joint maritime collaboration with the EU.

Referring to the topic of trade and investment, the ambassador remarked that the EU is Seychelles’ top trading partner.

Seychelles currently exports an amount of 286 million euros to EU countries which represents 60.9% of our total exports. Meanwhile we import up to 285 million euros from the Euro zone, which is 33.2% of our total imports.

The EU is also our largest source of tourists’ arrival with the top markets being France and Germany who provided 27% of our total arrivals in 2016.

To consolidate this thriving trade relationship Seychelles signed the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in 2009, a development-oriented trade agreement which provides for the elimination of duties and quotas for Seychelles exports to the EU market.


In this regard Mrs Sall said the EU is committed to helping Seychelles take full advantage of this partnership agreement.

The fisheries sector, one of the main contributors to the Seychelles economy, and the long standing fisheries agreement between the two were also addressed during the ambassador’s speech.

“Seychelles is the third largest exporter of tuna cans to the EU market and this is an important fact, considering the size of the country,” the ambassador noted.

Since the fisheries agreement was signed in 1987 the EU has fostered a well-fortified relationship in that sector and Mrs Sall promised that such would continue.

“We remain committed to accompanying the government of Seychelles in its ambition to develop the Blue economy and continue to combat illegal and unregulated fishing.”

The same sentiment was expressed in regards to climate change whereby the EU continues to support local endeavours to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and implement the Paris agreement.

In actuality the EU and Seychelles are in the process of jointly addressing the recurrent flooding on La Digue.

Ambassador Sall took the opportunity to reveal and hand over a handbook on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to President Faure. The handbook was developed by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) with the support of the EU.

This handbook, Mrs Sall stated, demonstrates EU’s concerted efforts in supporting projects for small island developing states (Sids).

She concluded her speech with a toast to the long partnership between the people of Seychelles and the European Union.

The foreign secretary, Claude Morel, also gave a similar rendition of EU-Seychelles partnership in his speech and toasted to the “very strong bonds of friendship and collaboration which exist between Seychelles and the numerous countries and organisations present tonight”.