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Seychelles and Sri Lanka are among the most efficient gateways to Africa and Asia

Seychelles and Sri Lanka are among the most efficient gateways to Africa and Asia ( His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka was the Guest of Honor at a specially-convened Business Forum held during his two-day State Visit to Seychelles at the Kempinski Resort this morning.

The Business Forum, which was chaired by the Minister for Natural Resources, Mr. Peter Sinon, brought together representatives from the Seychelles private sector and featured presentations of the Seychelles Ministry of Finance, the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Investment, as well the Sri Lankan Governor of the Central Bank, and the Chairman of the Sri Lankan Securities and Exchange Commission.

During his opening remarks, Minister Sinon noted the common vision of Seychelles and Sri Lanka to bring about “people-centered, socio-economic development” by recognizing the catalytic role of the private sector. The Minister of both governments were committed to progressively creating the enabling environment for business to flourish.

Also present were a number of key private entrepreneurs and investment facilitators from both Seychelles and Sri Lanka whom Minister Sinon called upon to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the flourishing friendship between Seychelles and Sri Lanka.

Special mentions were to the anticipated “Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement” (BIPA), Double Taxation Agreement (DTA), and direct air connection, all due to be realized in the fourth quarter of this year.

When addressing the forum, Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister for External Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, spoke of the importance of developing a variant relationship with the African continent, including Seychelles, as a priority for Sri Lanka.

Professor Peiris added this government embraces the Seychelles as “a natural partner and a tried and tested friend.” In addition, Prof. Peiris made special note of President Pajapaska’s remarks during his special address to the National Assembly yesterday during which he described the relationship between the two nations as exemplary in terms of the follow-through. Prof Peiris described this “follow through” as the inherent strength of the ever-evolving relationship.

Professor Peiris also added that, since the State Visit of President Michel to Sri Lanka in August last year when special areas of common interest where identified, substantial progress has taken place in each of those sectors.

Seychelles and Sri Lanka have already planted that tree in establishing diplomatic relations 25 years ago. Now they are jointly in the business of nurturing it to grow. This forum is about nurturing that tree of friendship, solidarity, and cooperation for profitable business development and realization in the context of this business forum.

The Business Forum presentations emphasized the wealth of opportunities for economic partnerships that exist between Seychelles and Sri Lanka.


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