SL, Seychelles to establish Joint Trade Commission

Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka and Seychelles yesterday decided to establish a Joint Trade Committee to boost economic relations between the two countries. The prospective Joint Trade Committee between the two countries will be Sri Lanka’s platform for accessing the African market, noted Seychelles Finance, Trade, and Investment Minister Pierre Laporte during a meeting with Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. “Almost all the issues regarding quarantine of certain exports have now been resolved and all requirements met. As a result we are now receiving loads of more Lankan fresh fruits and vegetables than before,” an upbeat Laporte had said.
 Seychelles Finance, Trade, and Investment Minister Pierre Laporte gifts a ‘Coco de Mer’ sea coconut endemic to Seychelles to Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen as Export Development Board Chairman Bandula Egodage and Seychelles Ambassador to Sri Lanka Waven William look on
Minister Laporte is currently leading a 20-member Seychelles business and investment delegation to Sri Lanka. Just prior to the courtesy call on Bathiudeen, Laporte joined for the opening of the first Lanka-Seychelles Business Forum organised by the Export Development Board (EDB). According to the Department of Commerce, the total bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Seychelles was reported at $3.7 m in 2013. Main products exported from Sri Lanka included tea, fishing vessels, cereals and sausages, while the main import from Seychelles was some spices. Sri Lanka believes that gems and jewellery, furniture, other types of ocean vessels, seafood and plastic products, to have strong market potential in Seychelles. A Joint Trade Committee would give Sri Lankan businesses access to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa or COMESA countries and the 26 country bloc of Southern African Development Community (SADC). Seychelles also has large quantities of unprocessed cinnamon that can be processed by the local private sector as well as tap into investment in the lucrative fisheries and tourism spheres. Bathiudeen has also proposed a top Lankan business and trade delegation to Seychelles, possibly this October or November and called on the Seychelles private sector to make use of Sri Lanka’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with India and Pakistan.