"We Laud Your Vision for Seychelles and Your Efforts to Revitalize Its Growth and Development" [press release] (allAfrica.com)

The President of the Republic of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee has praised Seychelles’ economic growth and development during a banquet held in honour of President James Michel at the Presidential Palace, Rashtrapati Bhavan.

“Mr. President, we laud your vision for Seychelles and your efforts to revitalize its growth and development. The economic reforms undertaken by you, the expansion and diversification of your economy and your simultaneous focus on social welfare have shown splendid results. Seychelles now stands among the countries recognised by the World Bank as High Income Group Countries. We welcome your accession to the World Trade Organisation and congratulate you on your being ranked by the UNDP as the country with the 3rd highest Human Development Index in Africa in the year 2014,” said President Mukherjee in his toast on the occasion.

President Mukherjee said that President Michel’s efforts for the development of the concept of “Blue Economy for Sustainable Development” and his commitment to the issues of the Small Island Developing States find resonance and support in India.

“With our long coastline, numerous small islands and significant reliance on the oceanic climate system, we, in India, face similar challenges. I am confident that the agreements that our Governments have signed and new areas of co-operation that we have identified during your visit will further strengthen our partnership – which already is an example of mutually beneficial, South-South Cooperation. Our Protocol on co-operation in the field of Blue Economy is a major step in the conservation and sustainable use of Indian Ocean resources. We are glad that our maritime security co-operation has been fruitful. The operationalisation of the Coastal Surveillance and Radar System will further contribute to securing your maritime territory,” he said.

President Mukherjee noted that increased air connectivity between Mahe and Mumbai will promote tourist flows in both directions and help to intensify business contacts and enhance bilateral trade and investment, adding that India is committed to extending its support and assistance to Seychelles in areas prioritised by President Michel’s Government.

In his toast to President Mukherjee, President James Michel reiterated his deepest condolences on the passing of his wife, the First Lady of the Republic of India, Smt. Suvra Mukherjee last week.

The President said that he has returned to India with great happiness to “feel the pulse and heartbeat of the world’s largest democracy and the dynamism of a great nation on the move which is an inspiration to the whole world.”

He noted that is gratifying for Seychelles to have India as a partner in its overall development programme.

” The development of our human resources and capacity building in particular, is a key element which helps us build our resilience and adaptability as a nation. And I passionately believe in this. We look forward to the continued support of India in this field. We are committed to continue working together towards forging a more comprehensive economic and commercial relationship between India and Seychelles. We want it to be a partnership which drives economic growth and prosperity for our two nations,” said President Michel.

President Michel said that the facilitation of visa arrangements for Seychelles citizens travelling to India, the enhancement in air connectivity, and the agreements signed in Agriculture and the Blue Economy are set to play a significant role in economic growth of the country.

“India is a leader. We recognize the prominence of India on the global stage and we appreciate India’s efforts to reform the Security Council and thank India for taking Africa’s positions into account in this process. Small Island Developing States like Seychelles appreciate India’s commitment to the pursuit of a more sustainable and inclusive development in the world.

We are grateful to India for its consistent support to the stance of Small Island Developing States so that they get a fairer deal in the international architecture of development.We have strong convergence of views on climate change and we are deeply committed to combating it. In this regard, we call for a strong and ambitious agreement at the Paris Conference,” said Mr Michel.

Prior to the banquet, President Michel and President Mukherjee had a meeting to discuss several areas of cooperation between India and Seychelles.

The banquet was also attended by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joel Morgan, the Minister for Finance, Trade & the Blue Economy, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, the President’s Diplomatic Adviser, Ambassador Callixte d’Offay, the Chief Military Adviser to the President, Colonel Clifford Roseline, the Seychelles High Commissioner to India, Mr. Waven William, the Presidential Envoy for Climate Change and the Environment, Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah, the CEO of the Seychelles Investment Board, Mr. Rupert Simeon, the CEO of the Islands Development Company, Mr. Glenny Savy, the Chairman of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Marco Francis, as well as distinguished members of the Seychelles business community; Mr. Pravin Darad, Mr. Ramakrishnan Pillay and Mr. Narasimhan Ramani.

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