Seychelles and Mauritius are collaborating on twin fronts of business promotion and tourism focus to take the Indian Ocean region to greater heights.

On one hand, four memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed on April 24, 2014 during the first Seychelles-Mauritius business forum at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles to promote trade and investment, while on the other, two islands nominated Mauritius for Ministerial candidature of Vanilla Islands.

The first Seychelles-Mauritius business forum was organized jointly by the Board of Investment of Mauritius and the Seychelles Investment Board and inaugurated by the Finance Minister of Seychelles, Pierre Laporte, in the presence of Mauritian Commerce Minister Cader Sayed Hossen.

The Small Enterprise Promotion Agency and Enterprise Mauritius; the Seychelles Trading Company and the State Trading Corporation of Mauritius (STC); the Seychelles Petroleum Company and the STC; and the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry, signed the MoUs.

Laporte said that Seychelles’ government is taking steps to make the country more attractive for business and to encourage foreign direct investment, and welcomed business representatives from both countries to use the forum to explore potential areas for further economic cooperation.

According to Cader Sayed Hossen, this forum provided a platform to join and strengthen both countries’ commercial and economic ties to new heights as they have similar business climates and offer excellent opportunities for investment in a wide range of activities.

It may be noted that trade between Mauritius and Seychelles stands at present at only USD 49.6 million annually, but that figure is expected to improve as further ways to work together are explored.

Coming to collaboration in the tourism sector, Mauritius has been nominated by two islands to provide its candidate for the position of Minister while La Reunion has been nominated for Regional Council.

It may be noted that the mandate of the current President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands and Seychelles Tourism and Culture Minister, Alain St Ange is drawing to a close.

Accordingly, the Ministerial Meeting of the Vanilla Islands which occurred on April 24, 2014 centered round taking consensus over the next President of Vanilla Islands.

The meeting brought together Vanilla Islands CEO Pascal Viroleau; Vanilla Islands MD Derek Savy; Reunion island’s Vice President Virginie K’Bidi, Vice President of Mayotte’s Tourism Committee Attoumani Harouna; Madagascar Tourism Office Chairman Eric Koller; Mauritius’ Destination Management Executive Robin Ramessur, Deputy Chief Commissioner of Rodrigues R Pierre Louis, Seychelles Tourism Board CEO Sherin Naiken and Reunion Tourism Board’s MD Ariane Loupy.

During the meeting, Madagascar formally introduced the candidature of the island’s minister to be considered for the position of President of the Vanilla Islands.

Before the May Ministerial Meeting in Madagascar, a consensus need to be reached because the new President is expected  to address the Tourism Trade Fair of Madagascar which is on the Calendar of Events of the Vanilla Islands.

Minister Alain St Ange highlighted that the elected persons must represent the organisation and not their CEO or Public Service, and time would need to be allocated for the projects of the Vanilla Islands Organization.

Finally, Pascal Viroleau announced the activities of the past year and his proposed plan of action for the coming year, which received the approbation of all the islands at the meeting.

Image (MBC): The first Seychelles-Mauritius business forum was organized jointly by the Board of Investment of Mauritius and the Seychelles Investment Board.

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