Press release

Official Working Visit by Ambassador Faure to Strengthen the Seychelles-Korea Cooperation – on Oil & Gas, Oceans & Fisheries, Tourism, and Diplomacy

March 18, 2014

Mr. Barry Faure, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs made his Official Working Visit to S. Korea to further enhance bilateral cooperation. The main area, amongst other ongoing and potential cooperation, was to present the opportunity to explore oil and gas in the Seychelles waters. Mr. Faure met with Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) and SK Innovation (SK) which are the largest companies in Korea for exploring and producing oil and gas.

Ambassador Faure emphasized effective and environment conscious oil and gas exploration, and invited KNOC and SK Innovation to Seychelles for further research to explore the opportunities while he assured of his support in his capacity as the chairman of PetroSeychelles. Both KNOC and SK showed high interest to conduct further research on the opportunities.

Ambassador Faure visited Jeju Island, one of the world’s New 7 Wonders of Nature. He made a courtesy call on Vice Governor of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, Mr. Kim Sunwoo, and congratulated them for their efforts and high technologies used in conserving and promoting their natural assets. He also pointed out Seychelles and Jeju share many things in common –Natural Heritage and importance of tourism industry with tourism contributing to around 55% of the GDP of Jeju Island. Ambassador also met with Jeju Tourism Association (a half government, half private tourism body for promoting brand of Jeju) to discuss bilateral cooperation on exchange of knowledge and know-how. The Association agreed to make a concrete cooperation bond through an MOU between Jeju Tourism Association, Seychelles Tourism Board and Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association.

Discussions with the Korean government was followed by a meeting with the Vice Minister, Mr. Son Jae Hak, of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries where Ambassador Faure kindly asked their assistance for bringing more Korean vessels to Seychelles waters and cooperation in oceans and fisheries. The Vice Minister offered to prepare concrete areas for cooperation for further discussion with Seychelles.

At the courtesy call on the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Deputy Minister Mr. Lee Kyung Soo, the latter congratulated Ambassador Faure for the increased cooperation between Seychelles and Korea for the past few years. Both sides noted that the official visits of President James Michel in 2009 and 2012 had been instrumental in forging our relations in recent years. Korean visitors have grown practically from 0 to more than 1,000, and so have cooperation and exchanges in a broad range of sectors.

On Sunday, 16th March, Ambassador Faure participated in the Seoul International Marathon, one of top three international marathon races in Korea as a part of sports diplomacy and to benchmark the system for the Seychelles Eco-Friendly Marathon. His participation was the first for Seychelles and he finished the 42.195km race in 4:45:57.

During his stay, he gave interviews to 4 Korean newspapers: DongA Ilbo (one of Top 3 daily newspapers / organizing committee of Seoul Int’l Marathon), Hankyung Business Newspaper (one of Top 3 daily business newspapers), Global Travel News and The Korea Travel News.

“I am very happy that Seychelles and Korea have been developing close cooperation in several areas – especially sustainable energy, fisheries, and tourism. It was also gratifying to be reassured of Korean government’s interest in further enhancing the bilateral cooperation. I also would like to thank Mr. Jeong, Seychelles Honorary Consul General who has worked tirelessly for better serving Seychelles. President Michel and our Government appreciates his work and will provide constant support to ensure outstanding projects are successfully implemented. We shall make this visit another platform for bringing bilateral cooperation to a higher level,” said Ambassador Faure.

Ambassador Faure was accompanied to official meetings by Mr. Dong Chang Jeong, Seychelles Honorary Consul General and Ms. Julie Kim, regional manager of Seychelles Tourist Office, Korea & Japan.