Press release

Seychelles and the southern Chinese province of Guangdong strengthen their cooperation

July 10, 2014

On behalf of Seychelles National Botanical Gardens Foundation, resident Ambassador to China, Mr. Philippe Le Gall signed two agreements with Guangzhou Zoo, the first one relating to the long-term loan of a pair of giant Aldabra tortoises and the second facilitating cooperation, especially in the field of bio-diversity.

The Chinese signatory parties to the two agreements were the Director of Guangzhou Zoo, Mr. Liu Lijun, in the Presence of the Deputy Director of the Administration of Forestry and Gardening of Guangzhou Municipality, Mr. Chen Xun, and the Communist Party Secretary of Guangzhou Zoo, Mr. Yao Xuewen.

Ambassador Le Gall met with the Deputy Director General of the Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Guangdong Province, Mr. Luo Jun, and the Director of Protocol, Mr. Cang Feng. The two parties had a preliminary discussion on arrangements for the official presentation of the pair of tortoises around mid-October.  With most members of the Seychellois community of Chinese descent originating from Guangdong province, the history of relations between Seychelles and the Southern province of China is particularly rich and the two sides agreed that such a unique connection should be marked by activities showing how migrants and traders from the region contributed to the development of Seychelles during the last 150 years. The importance of initiating new forms of cooperation, especially in the protection of biodiversity, was also highlighted.

Ambassador Le Gall also met with Mr Wei Guohua, Chairman of the Guangzhou Youth Federation, in charge of the recruitment since 2007 of all volunteers having worked in Seychelles and expressed the deep gratitude of the Government for this successful program of assistance decided on the occasion of the 2006 FOCAC Summit, attended by President James Michel in Beijing. Seychelles is the first African country to benefit from this initiative.

Chairman We Guohua briefed the Seychellois envoy on the new recruitment campaign launched on July 1st with already 100 candidatures having been registered for 15 posts including; health, music, construction, electricity and internet engineering.

An exchange of views was also organised during which former volunteers made a number of suggestions on the way forward to guarantee the full success of this program in the years to come. The 6th batch of volunteers is expected to travel to Seychelles in two months.