Accord opens new avenues of ties with Korea


07-March-2012

Messrs Chung (left) and Loustau-Lalanne exchange documents after signing the agreement

Seychelles principal secretary for Foreign Affairs Maurice Loustau-Lalanne signed the agreement with Tae-In Chung – the deputy director general of Korea’s Foreign Ministry’s Africa and Middle Eastern Bureau, after day-long talks which will see follow-up discussions in June in Korea.

Mr Loustau-Lalanne said this first ever joint commission was the fruit of President James Michel’s 2009 visit to Korea when he signed a memorandum of understanding asking that both countries review their ties and seek to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

He noted Korea has given many kinds of items to Seychelles – including vehicles for use by VIPs, health equipment – and offered training.

“We have now discussed many other avenues of economic and other forms of cooperation,” he said.

“We will soon finalise an agreement that will help exchange information on taxation,” he said, noting the two sides are still studying the possibilities of signing a double taxation avoidance pact.

There is already an agreement allowing Korean airlines to come here and studies are under way to find out the possibility of a transiting airline taking passengers here on its way to and from Kenya.

He said such a flight is expected in the middle of this year which will allow development of a two-centre holiday chance.

“We also wish to make openings in other domains such as further cooperation in anti-piracy efforts where Korea is ready to support Seychelles directly,” said Mr Lousteau-Lalanne.

The talks also covered renewable energy pursuits – an area in which Korea is advanced.

He referred to Korea’s Jeju island where the country has a project based on which Korea hopes to become the world’s third-largest offshore wind power generator.

Last year Korea launched projects to generate over 60 megawatts using wind turbines driven by offshore wind off the island.

Mr Loustau-Lalanne noted similarities of Jeju and La Digue, which Seychelles is developing as a green island.
Seychelles will also take part in a three-month exhibition to be staged in Korea soon.

Mr Chung referred to ties between the two countries as friendly and said Monday’s talks centred on broadening cooperation and strengthening economic links as well as ties in trade, tourism, fisheries, health and the joint fight against piracy.

“I’m very happy with the contribution from the Seychelles side,” he said, noting the two countries work together in United Nations circles for example at the World Tourism Organisation.

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