Posts Tagged ‘tourism’

Seychelles President wants Sri Lankan pioneered hotel exhibition to be annual event


The Seychelles President James Alix Michel who launched the inaugural Food and Hotel Seychelles (FHS) 2014  in Mahe on Friday, being presented a memento by Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the Seychelles Rajatha Piyatissa and Managing Director of CDC Events and Travels Imran Hassan,while  the Chief  Executive Officer of the Seychelles Small Enterprise Promotion Agency Penny Belmont and leading hotelier Ahmed Didi look on.

in Mahe, Seychelles

The President of Seychelles James Alix Michel says, he looks forward to the inaugural Sri Lankan powered International Food and Hotel Seychelles (FHS) 2014 in Mahe, becoming an annual event.

Speaking to the “Sunday Island” shortly after inaugurating the Exhibition cum Culinary Challenge at the NSC Hall on Friday , which has attracted 38 Sri Lankan companies, he observed ” It’s a great initiative. Buyers from the region and other parts of the world are here and we look forward to making this an yearly event.”

Asked, if Seychelles would be investing in Sri Lanka, the President replied that the foundation had been laid with high level contacts being established in recent years.

“We are trying to complement each other. Seychelles purchases a wide range of products from Sri Lanka while it exports fish in large quantities”, he added.

Seychelles Finance and Investment Minister Pierre Laporte said that FHS 2014 had provided an opportunity for businessmen to tap the huge potential that existed in his country’s hospitality industry.

Recalling a meeting with  Trade Minister Rishard Bathiudeen in Colombo  recently where they had discussed establishing a fish processing project in Sri Lanka, Laporte revealed that his counterpart would be visiting Seychelles shortly in that connection.

Strategic trade and bilateral ties between the two countries had also improved with Mihin Lanka launching direct flights to Mahe, he noted adding that it had opened the door to free market access to East and South Africa.

Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Small Enterprise Promotion Agency (SEnPA) Penny Belmont said that  a large number of companies from Sri Lanka, South Africa, Singapore and Dubai had deemed it fit to come all the way to “little Seychelles, to be part of this exhibition. It underlines the fact that today, no market is too big or too small, no country is too far, as the rapid development of information technology has made our world a global village where communicating is just a matter of a phone call, a video link an SMS or an e-mail. This has encouraged us to push even harder to overcome all barriers to arrive at mutually beneficial agreements to work together for the common good.”

For  participants from Seychelles this exhibition, was an opportunity to spread their wings, Belmont said. She stressed that it would  also be a learning experience to further raise the standards of their products and services, so that Seychelles too could compete shoulder to shoulder with the best.

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the Seychelles Rajatha Piyatissa said that his High Commission in collaboration with Mihin Air was working jointly with the organizer of FHS 2014, Connaissance De Ceylan (CDC) Travels and Events, the Seychelles Ministry of Toursim and Culture, Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Investment Board.

An exhibition of this nature, was very important for the improvement of the standards of hotels, resorts, guest houses and restaurants and also the ideal platform for industry professionals to express their ideas and upgrade to face modern trends,he stressed.

Managing Director of CDC Events and Travels Imran Hassan said that  FHS 2014 showcased the latest products and services representing thousands of brands used in the hospitality industry worldwide.

He thanked the Seychelles Minister of Tourism Alain St. Page, the CEO of (SEnPA) Penny Belmont and their respective teams for their unstinted support in making the event a success.


Seychelles President concludes a historic State Visit to Sri Lanka

Seychelles President James Alix Michel arrived in Sri Lanka on 20th August 2012 on a 3-day State Visit accompanied by Foreign Minister, Jean-Paul Adam, Natural Resources and Industry Minister, Peter Sinon and a 15-member high powered delegation.

It was the first State Visit from Seychelles to Sri Lanka since the establishment of Diplomatic Relations in 1988.

Seychelles President was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Presidential Secretariat premises on 21st August morning which included a guard of honour and a 21-gun salute.

The bilateral discussions between the Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Seychelles President, James Alix Michel were held in a frank and cordial manner, reflecting the excellent bilateral relations and friendship between the two countries.

President Rajapaksa extended a warm welcome to the Seychelles President and valued the role played by Seychelles in regional and multilateral fora in promoting and defending the interests of small island states. President Rajapaksa noted with gratitude the support extended by Seychelles at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

“Though the economies of Sri Lanka and Seychelles are not equal in terms of absolute numbers, both economies show some resemblance on their sources of current and potential earnings such as tourism, fisheries and offshore businesses.

The synergies, therefore, can be explored in these sectors between the two Nations.” observed President Rajapaksa. Importance of working together to fight against piracy with the view to protecting the sea transportation in the region, possibilities to enhance economic cooperation, diversifying Sri Lankan products and encouraging public private partnership were also highlighted by President Rajapaksa.

Elaborating further, President Rajapaksa welcomed the Seychelles President’s proposal on initiating a grouping of Indian Ocean Island States towards safeguarding their interests against threats such as piracy & maritime security, environmental issues & sustainability, terrorism etc. based on common interests.

President Michel, thanked President Rajapaksa for inviting him to Sri Lanka and appreciated the warm reception and hospitality extended to the Seychelles delegation. President of Seychelles lauded President Rajapaksa’s vision and leadership in ushering peace to the country and the remarkable economic progress achieved during the last few years.

President Michel recalled the long standing traditional and historical links between Sri Lanka and Seychelles, particularly in the colonial period. He highlighted the initiative taken by him as Minister of Education in recruiting Sri Lankan teachers and said that their contribution to the development and socio-economic well-being of his country has been greatly appreciated. Further President Michel declared that Sri Lanka and Seychelles being Island States should work together with other like-minded countries to protect ocean resources and harness the blue economy for the benefit of their peoples.

President Michel also invited Sri Lankan business community to visit Seychelles and to enjoy the larger African market through the Common Market for Eastern and South Africa (COMESA). While highlighting air transport and sea transport as most important aspects for linking two countries, President Michel invited Sri Lankan Airlines to fly to Victoria and beyond the African subcontinent. He also invited Sri Lankan Defence officials to share its expertise and know-how on maritime security and piracy with Seychelles.

The two leaders agreed that Seychelles-Sri Lanka relations have diversified over the years and that there is much scope for increased cooperation and to further harness the enormous potential that exists in the fisheries, human resources, economic, tourism, investment, education, health and technology sectors for mutual benefit. The two leaders also expressed their strong commitment and support to enhance economic cooperation, air & sea connectivity and encourage Public-Private Partnerships between the two countries, so as to deepen the people to people relations.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of Memoranda of Understanding/ Agreement in the fields of Health, Education & Training, Employment of Sri Lankans in Seychelles and Labour Cooperation on Legal Affairs. (Please see annex, the list of MoUs / Agreement signed along with the signatories.)

President Rajapaksa invited the business delegation/fact finding mission from Seychelles to Sri Lanka in order to identify the potential import/export as well as investment opportunities. Towards this end, President Rajapaksa stated that he would direct authorities to consider the possibilities of opening a Bank of Ceylon branch in Seychelles.

Seychelles President Michel assured his government’s fullest cooperation and support for Sri Lanka in the international fora.

Both leaders expressed their deep satisfaction on the outcome of the bilateral discussions which is a further testimony of the excellent relations and friendship enjoyed by the two countries.

On 21st August, the President of Seychelles delivered a lecture on ‘The Role of the Small Island States in the Global Tapestry’ at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies to a well-attended audience. Further, President Rajapaksa hosted the President of Seychelles to a State Banquet.

On the 22nd, President Michel met with a group of prominent Sri Lankan business leaders at a breakfast meeting, organised by the Department of Commerce, following which he visited the War Heroes Monument in Sri Jayewardenepura and laid a wreath. He also met the Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, Chamal Rajapaksa and thereafter he graced the occasion of the declaration of the Sri Lanka-Seychelles Friendship Affairs Committee.

During the visit, Seychelles President visited the Colombo Dockyard, Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College (CINEC) and the Navy In-shore Petrol Craft Construction Project (IPCCP).

The State Visit by the Seychelles President to Sri Lanka heralds a new chapter in Seychelles-Sri Lanka relations in pursuit of common endeavours towards strengthening closer friendship and economic cooperation between the two countries in a variety of fields, with enormous benefits for the two countries and their peoples.

List of MoUs / Agreement and Signatories

• Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Health signed by Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G. L. Peiris on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam signed on behalf of the Government of Seychelles.

• Memorandum of Understanding on Education and Training, signed by Minister of Education, Bandula Gunawardane on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam signed on behalf of the Government of Seychelles.

• Agreement Concerning the Employment of Sri Lankan Manpower in Seychelles, signed by Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion & Welfare, Dilan Perera signed on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam signed on behalf of the Government of Seychelles.

• Memorandum of Understanding on Labour Cooperation on Legal Affairs signed by Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion & Welfare, Dilan Perera signed on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam signed on behalf of the Government of Seychelles.

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