Seychelles set to benefit from Sri Lanka’s fisheries experts


Minister for Natural Resources and Industry Peter Sinon (left) welcoming Sri Lanka’s Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Rajitha Senaratne on arrival at the airport yesterday at the start of a one-week visit to Seychelles

He arrived in the country yesterday afternoon accompanied by a delegation of top Sri Lankan government officials.

The team was met at the Seychelles International Airport by the Minister for Natural Resources and Industry Peter Sinon and the ministry’s principal secretary Michel Nalletamby.

Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) chief executive Finley Racombo and its chairperson Philippe Michaud were also there to welcome Dr Senaratne to Seychelles.

Speaking to Seychelles Nation just after his arrival, Dr Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government has decided to have better relations with the island nations in the Indian Ocean.

He added that the ties between Seychelles and Sri Lanka are being further strengthened and that President James Michel’s visit there in August was a successful one.

Dr Senaratne said while in Seychelles, the Sri Lankan team will be able to understand the local fisheries industry and help to find ways to modernise it.

He added that cooperation between the two countries in the fisheries sector will be enhanced.
“The aim is also to see how to improve businesses between the two countries,” he said.

“It was also requested by the Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa for us to visit Seychelles to start some projects and improve the bilateral relations.”

Sri Lanka will also help Seychelles in the setting up of aquaculture and this will be an area for discussion during the visit.

Mr Sinon said the SFA is working on a master plan for the setting up of aquaculture in the country and this will be an area where the country will benefit greatly from the Sri Lankan expertise.

Dr Senaratne in talks with Minister Sinon yesterday in the airport’s VIP lounge

He said during the visit to Sri Lanka, he learned on the latest developments in the fisheries industry.

Sri Lanka is very experienced in boat building and part of the reason that the Bank of Ceylon, the country’s leading bank, is extending a line of credit to Seychelles, is for the local fishermen or those who want to invest in boats can borrow and get their boats built there.

“Representatives from the Bank of Ceylon were in Seychelles recently, agreements have already been signed between the two countries and we are now moving on to the next step,” he added.

Through this visit, we will be able to show where we have reached in the fisheries industry and how we can collaborate in the various aspects, Mr Sinon said.

Dr Senaratne and his delegation will call on President Michel at State House today and is also expected to meet and hold talks with several ministers.