Seychelles provides ‘interesting example’ for fellow SIDS
The Seychelles delegation attending the Third Commonwealth Biennial on Small States has also engaged with its host country St Lucia to discuss practical exchanges that can support each other’s development.
Noting Seychelles’ unique experience in tackling its economic reforms and debt challenges, the Prime Minister of St. Lucia, the Honourable Kenny D. Anthony, stressed that Seychelles offer an ‘interesting example’ for the Caribbean well as for St. Lucia itself.
In a special meeting with St. Lucia’s cabinet members, Minister Pierre Laporte explained the key policy prescriptions that Seychelles used to transform itself following the world economic crisis of 2007 onwards.
“Despite the distance between our two countries, Seychelles and Saint Lucia have a lot in common.I had an opportunity to share Saint Lucia’s economic challenges and to learn from the Minister for Finance (of Seychelles) what adjustment policies were implemented in Seychelles in 2008 to deal with an economic crisis faced by their island back then. It was very instructive to get an idea of the country’s response to the reform policies. Honourable Laporte was generous enough to share his thoughts on various approaches to Saint Lucia’s realities,” Prime Minister Anthony said.
“Seychelles is always happy to share its experience in order to build up a better understanding of the ways in which we can create a better platform for SIDS economic development. As islands we face unique constraints which are not always immediately understood by financing partners. We hope that our experiences can help to both address the challenges and seize economic opportunities.”Minister Laporte remarked after the meeting.
The Seychelles delegation also used the opportunity of the visit to highlight opportunities to strengthen the bilateral partnership between the two countries. In discussions with the Hon. Alva Baptiste, Minister of External Relations, Trade and Civil Aviation of St. Lucia, Minister Jean-Paul Adam indicated that in addition to the sharing of experiences on economic reforms, the two islands should build a partnership around their shared Creole heritage. He briefed his counterpart on the International Creole Institute that Seychelles nurtured and the two ministers agreed to also find means by which the two countries Creole festivals could be connected.
They also discussed partnerships in tourism development and marketing where they could facilitate better diversification of markets on both sides.
As Seychelles is also leading efforts for a better connected aviation space in the Indian Ocean, Minister Adam also used the opportunity to examine the possibilities of using the Caribbean’s experience in building a single aviation market that ensures excellent air connectivity among the islands.
The Seychelles delegation also included Ms Rebecca Loustau-Lalanne