UN trade body backs Seychelles’ reforms


President Michel welcomes Dr Panitchpakdi at State House

UNCTAD secretary general Supachai Panitchpakdi made the remark after talks with President James Michel on Monday afternoon.

Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, who was on an official visit to Seychelles, was a special guest at the National Day celebrations on June 18.
President Michel thanked Dr Panitchpakdi for the support UNCTAD has extended to Seychelles during its economic reforms, and in particular the secretary general's work to assist small island developing states in making their case for their voices to be heard.

"We thank you for championing the voices of small islands developing states, which are often disadvantaged within the international trading system due to their size. We look forward to working with you to develop the blue economy concept for sustainable development which would benefit small island states like Seychelles, oceanic states and coastal countries," said President Michel.

The President discussed various areas of possible cooperation with Dr Panitchpakdi, including eco-tourism, as well as reviewing the work it had conducted with the Fair Trade Commission in Seychelles.

Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Paul Adam, who accompanied Dr Panitchpakdi to State House, said afterwards that his visit is proof the United Nations want to make sure the concerns of small island developing states like Seychelles are recognised particularly in the international trading system.

Dr Panitchpakdi said UNCTAD is satisfied with the work carried out to ensure that consumer rights are protected, to help bring about more competition in business, and that UNCTAD will keep supporting this 'modern framework for a modern economy’.

"The achievements since those difficult days have been really testimonial to the kind of efforts Seychelles has put in reforming its economy. UNCTAD is very pleased to see that reforms to put discipline into the market mechanism and fiscal balance have been giving the right results in opening up the economy for competition and to link and to integrate Seychelles economy with the global economy,” he said.

UNCTAD’s secretary general said the discussions he has had with President Michel has reassured him of the Seychelles government’s and people’s commitment to the reform process and to maintain good governance which is important to attract new investments and businesses to Seychelles.

“We have been delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Seychelles Fair Trading Commission to improve the way that consumer rights can be protected and help bring about the kind of competition among businesses which would result in welfare increases for the people,” Mr Panitchpakdi said.

"The model being used in Seychelles is one of the most outstanding framework for market mechanism,” he added. 

He said future cooperation with Seychelles will include modernising rules and regulations to make Seychelles more attractive for foreign investments and also to work closer with Seychelles to foster the kind of understanding and visibility of small island developing states in ways that vulnerable issues of these states could be tabled at the global level .

“The aim is to have some form of framework that could be used to deal in special and differential manner for the cases of the small island states,” added Dr Panitchpakdi.