The Development Bank of Seychelles (DBS) is looking for banking partnerships with Sri Lanka. “DBS, the main financial institution in Seychelles with long term lending facilities in all areas of the Seychelles economy, would like to establish bilateral banking ties with Sri Lanka,” announced Waven William, High Commissioner of the Republic of Seychelles accredited to Colombo and Delhi on earlier this week in Colombo.
William revealed this to Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of industry and Commerce when he made a courtesy call on the Minister.
“The DBS banking hierarchy is planning to visit Colombo in the due course on a fact finding mission. To this end, they are looking to obtain credit line facilities from their prospective banking partner in Sri Lanka to facilitate loans for citizens of Seychelles to readily buy Sri Lankan boats which are in demand in Seychelles,” William explained.
DBS is a joint venture between the government of Seychelles and financial entities of Agence Française de Développement (the implementing agency for Frances official development assistance), European Investment Bank (the European Union bank that provides long-term financing), DEG (DeutscheInvestitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH – the German private sector investment bank investing in transition countries) and Nouvobanq (the Seychelles government’s joint venture with Standard Chartered Bank).
According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, the total trade between Sri Lanka and Seychelles has been at very low level over the years and during the period of January to September 2011, bilateral trade stood at two million dollars.
Main products exported from Sri Lanka include tea, fishing vessels, cereals and sausages and main import products include fennel, coriander and cumin. Sri Lanka believes that gems and jewellery, furniture, boats and plastic products have export potential in the Seychelles market.
There are around 20 to 25 active boat yards around Sri Lanka producing various types of boats and about six to seven boatyards currently export their products. The best known sail maker of the world, North Sails, operates its factory in the Biyagama Investment Promotion Zone.
The annual export turnover of boat exports exceeded $743,750 in 2010, increasing by 80 per cent from 2009. Among Sri Lanka’s boat buyers are Seychelles, India, Bangladesh, Maldives and Mauritius. Ship and boat building services offered by Sri Lanka span across a wide range – from boats of different types and uses to related but specialised services.
Among the different types of boats are yachts, pleasure and leisure boats, fishing boats, passenger, sports, rescue, coast guard, patrol boats, fast attack crafts and general purpose vessels, while the related but specialised services include raw material for boat building, preproduction services such as boat design, lofting, plug making, mould making, supplying of engine, navigation and communication equipment, refrigeration systems, sail makers, fire and safety equipment and post production services such as boat storage and transport devices, marinas, diving and fishing equipment, boat and engine maintenance and repairs.
The ship building and ship repair industry in Sri Lanka is capable of producing passenger and cargo vessels and combat crafts using aluminium and steel as raw material.