CELEBRATING THE NATURAL AFFINITY BETWEEN SEYCHELLES AND INDIA
President James Alix Michel and Mrs. Natalie Michel hosted an official reception at the State House yesterday evening, in honour of President Pratibha Devinsingh Patil, that was attended by Seychellois and Indian dignitaries as well as members of the diplomatic corps.
“Tonight we are celebrating the natural affinity between Seychelles and India. A natural partnership and a natural alignment of one of the world’s largest economies, and one of the smallest…As we honor you and the people of India today, we recognize the prominent role that you have played, being India’s first woman President, in shaping India and in inspiring people around the world. You have also certainly played an instrumental role in building this exemplary partnership which exists between our two countries,” said President Michel in a toast in honour of President Patil.
Mr. Michel noted that India and Seychelles are also joined by ties of family, shaping the country’s common destiny, and that these ties are an ‘enduring bridge of kinship’ of the Seychelles-India partnership.
“I believe we have only scratched the surface of the potential of economic partnership between our countries. Rest assured, Your Excellency Madam President, that I will continue to press all private sector partners to look to India to continue to expand our trade, reduce the cost of trade between our countries and hence the cost of living, and bring new opportunities for entrepreneurs from both nations,” said President Michel.
Addressing the dignitaries present, President Patil expressed her gratitude for the ‘extraordinarily warm welcome’ she received in Seychelles and commended the growth in cooperation between India and Seychelles.
“As two vibrant democracies we share common values and common goals. The opportunity to address a special session of the National Assembly of Seychelles today, and India being the first country to be asked to address the national assembly, was therefore a great honour for me. India would like to increase cooperation between the two Parliaments, and would welcome greater exchange of visits between the Members of Parliaments of the two countries,” said President Patil.
Mrs. Patil also made special reference to the strengthening of business ties which was made possible through the interaction of her business delegation as well as the business forum organised on the first day of her visit.
“Since my arrival in Seychelles I also had very productive interactions with the business community of Seychelles who have deliberated with their Indian counterparts to identify opportunities for trade, business and investment. It is noteworthy that a person of Indian origin has been elected as the Chairman of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The local Indian origin community has been a part and parcel of the long history of this country. I understand that they have greatly contributed to the development and prosperity of this great country.”