Seychelles is expected to see more visitors from Denmark as the European country eases travel advice and reopens its borders in May, said newly accredited ambassador Ole Thonke.
The Danish ambassador to Seychelles presented his credentials to President Wavel Ramkalawan on Tuesday at State House.
“We had a long discussion on the COVID-19 crisis globally. Seychelles and Denmark are opening their borders to visitors and our travel advice is also improving. We will soon see more visitors from Denmark to Seychelles as we progress in the year,” Thonke told reporters.
Discussions between the ambassador and the President also touched on issues and values that the two countries share.
“There is the issues of human rights and democratic values. We have seen during the time of the pandemic that crimes such as rape, domestic violence and issues like teenage pregnancy have gone on the rise. Seychelles and Denmark are looking at those issues,” he added.
The ambassador talked about the collaboration the two countries had on maritime security especially when piracy was rampant in the region. He said that Denmark will like to keep this strong partnership.
Also on Tuesday, Srimal Wickremasinghe, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, presented his credentials to President Ramkalawan.
The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Seychelles was also accredited on Tuesday. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC BY
Wickremasinghe told reporters that Sri Lanka wants to further develop its relationship with Seychelles.
“We would be setting up our programme to see the sectors that we would work on together to bolster stronger cooperation. A discussion has already started around the education sector and we are offering the chance for students to study medicine in Sri Lanka,” said Wickremasinghe.
He said that Sri Lanka is also interested in providing its expertise to help Seychelles in its infrastructural development.
From State House, Wickremasinghe made a courtesy call on the Seychelles Minister of Fisheries, Jean-Francois Ferrari. Both countries are active members of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC).
Both the Minister and the High Commissioner agreed to re-activate fisheries cooperation discussions between the two countries, with a particular focus on maritime surveillance and monitoring in an effort to eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in their respective exclusive economic zones.
The partnership will enable Seychelles and Sri Lanka to continue to be at the forefront in fisheries transparency and ensure compliance with international obligations such as those set by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Ferrari also made a proposal that Sri Lanka’s private institute of higher education (CINEC) offers more fisheries related courses with a particular focus on modern fishing technologies both at the Seychelles Maritime Academy (SMA) as well as the CINEC campus in Colombo.
He said that this will encourage more Seychellois youths to join the fisheries sector in Seychelles not just as fishermen, but to take hold of equally important career opportunities in the fisheries value chain.
Fisheries is the second top contributor to the Seychelles economy after tourism.