Seychelles and Indonesia share a vision to develop Blue economy concept and to create opportunities for SMEs across borders
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam, has had wide-ranging discussions with his counterpart, H.E Mr. Marty Negatalawa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia over the week-end, where the ministers have highlighted the potential partnership to be developed between the two countries as leaders in the ‘Blue Economy’, and also to create innovative public private partnerships by empowering Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the two countries.
Minister Adam followed his participation in the 6th Global Forum on Transparency and Tax Information Exchange in Jakarta, Indonesia, with an official visit to the host country.
“As two archipelagic nations, we know that our future development depends as much on our ability to develop the ocean as the land. Indonesia has been a key leader of the ‘Blue Economy’ principle not only since the Rio +20 conference, but also as a leading partner in the development of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)” Minister Adam stated after the meeting.
The Ministers agreed that real progress towards sustainable development required enhanced awareness in the international community on the role of oceans as a catalyst for development, and also changes in the framework by which developing nations may access support for oceanic development.
Minister Negatalawa welcomed the initiative of Seychelles to jointly organize with the UAE government a special high level meeting on the Blue Economy to be held in Abu Dhabi in January 2014 and expressed the support of Indonesia to further the progress towards sustainable development through empowerment of coastal communities and oceanic nations.
The Ministers agreed to share experiences in terms of conservation, and also in relation to potential opportunities in the tourism sector.
The two ministers also expanded discussions recently tabled at the Perth Indian Ocean Rim ministerial meeting where it was proposed to enhance the abilities of SMEs to access potential markets across borders. They agreed that Seychelles and Indonesia are ideally placed to develop a bilateral partnership that can further enhance a regional project. It was noted that the high value tourism sector in Seychelles required many inputs, many of which were available from Indonesian SMEs, and which could also be sourced through partnerships with Seychellois SMEs. It was agreed to share training opportunities, to develop the capacity of SMEs in both countries, and link them up with the tourism sectors.
“There is no reason why SMEs in our respective countries cannot widen their horizons- and our two governments are aiming to facilitate this. SMEs have been the key drivers of both Indonesia’s unprecedented recent growth, and Seychelles’ successful economic reforms- we have a great platform to build on”, Minister Adam noted.
During the meeting, the ministers also shared the experiences of their respective countries in the fight against piracy. As South East Asia had been blighted by this problem in the past, there is significant experience in the Indonesian Coastguard and maritime security services in tackling this scourge, while the establishment of the Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecution and Intelligence Centre (RAPPIC) in Seychelles to better target the financiers of piracy and enhance intelligence sharing has been recognized as an innovation to further enhance international coordination on this matter. The two countries have agreed to further share experiences both bilaterally and through regional mechanisms.
Finally, Minister Adam also thanked his counterpart for Indonesia’s faithful participation in the Seychelles international Carnival every year, facilitated through Seychelles’ Consul General in Jakarta, Mr. Nico Barrito.
“The exchanges between our two countries linked to the Carnival are an example of bringing tow cultural meting pots together, and create more awareness of the importance of tourism as both a means of preserving and promoting unique and distinct cultures” Minister Adam remarked.
The Minister was accompanied in the discussions by Mr. Rupert Simeon, the CEO of the Seychelles Investment Board, and Mr. Nico Barrito, Seychelles Honorary Consul General in Jakarta.