OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND FOR SEYCHELLES AND CHINA – PRESIDENT MICHEL
As his successful visit to Shanghai draws to a close, President Michel has hailed the myriad opportunities which exist for Seychellois and Chinese alike to benefit from a very special relationship: “Seychelles and China are creating opportunities to enhance each other’s development in many ways. From our students who have a unique opportunity to study in one of the leading countries in the world in terms of research and investment in education, to Chinese companies who can use Seychelles as the bridge for investment between Asia and Africa. Our countries share an affinity which allows us to create opportunities which complement and further our respective development objectives”.
During his visit to Shanghai, President Michel met with some of the Seychellois students studying there and who were assisting with the Seychelles’ stand at the Expo. The students all highlighted the fact that studying at Chinese institutions allowed them to have access to a high level education while also being able to get a unique insight into one of the most powerful economies in the world. President Hu Jintao announced that Seychelles will be benefiting from 52 scholarships between 2010-2011.
“As two countries that put a lot of emphasis on education as one of the critical factors in development, we are pleased to be able to continue developing our higher education links between Seychelles and China. These scholarships bring our countries closer together as they foster cultural understanding as well as strong educational principles.” The President noted.
The President’s visit to Shanghai has also allowed new perspectives to open up for the development of trade and exchanges between the two countries. The Seychelles Tourism Board continues to search for new markets for Seychelles’ tourism and the possibilities in Shanghai and China as a whole were very evident based on the interest in the Seychelles’ pavilion. STB have confirmed that they would be examining the prospects for strengthening their presence in China to further develop the market.
In the bilateral meeting between the two presidents, President Hu Jintao said that China would continue to promote investment into Seychelles and Africa as a whole.
President Michel stated that Seychelles was the natural bridge between the two continents: “As the most Eastern of African nations, Seychelles is the logical first stop for any Chinese company interested in Africa”.
During the Expo, the President and delegation also had meetings with the deputy Governor of Guangdong Province and the Deputy Mayor of Shanghai to further enhance the relations at the local government level, as well as to foster stronger business ties.
The two countries will also be coming together to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the settlement of the first Chinese in Seychelles in 2011.