Seychelles being considered for international science centre, talks with China reveal
The proposal is being discussed through bilateral meetings between Seychelles and the visiting Chinese delegation. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles and China are discussing the possibility for the island nation to host an international centre to focus on science and cooperation with a focus on the Blue Economy, said a high state official.
Vice President Vincent Meriton confirmed to SNA that the proposal is being discussed following bilateral discussions with the State Councillor of China, Wang Yong, at Eden Bleu on Thursday.
Wong is in Seychelles on a three-day official visit, which is a follow-up of a meeting held between President Danny Faure and President Xi Jinping at the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
"During the discussion, we had the chance to evaluate our cooperation and looked at all the ongoing projects and the recent agreements that we have signed," said Meriton.
Seychelles and China have been developing relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties on June 30, 1976.
The island nation recently signed three trade agreements with China. The first provides frameworks for the exportation of fish and fishery products from Seychelles to China, and the second allows for market access for potential export and import of fish and plants. The third agreement aims at the establishment and development of friendly, cooperative relations and mutual assistance between the two sides and to promote and facilitate bilateral trade between the two countries.
Meriton also told reporters that Seychelles also received a donation of over $200,000 for the improvement of the Bazar Labrin site, where 35 kiosks and other necessary facilities will be built. Bazar Labrin is a weekly fare held on Wednesdays in the northern Mahe district of Beau Vallon where local products and food are for sale.
The chief executive of the Enterprise Seychelles Agency (ESA), Angelique Appoo, said that now the agency can finally move forward with the implementation of the project following some difficulties to obtain the necessary finance. The current site will be closed for work to be carried out as of January 2020.
"The construction of the kiosks and relevant facilities will improve the quality of hygiene and the facility in general at the site. This will in return improve the standard of Bazar Labrin," said Appoo.
|The delegation's first call was on President Danny Faure at State House. (Seychelles Nation) Photo license: CC-BY|
The 23-member delegation was in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, from December 18 to December 20. The delegation's first call was on President Danny Faure at State House in Victoria on Thursday morning.
Wong, who is leading the delegation, is conducting visits to the Port of Victoria, Providence Industrial Estate and Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) House site, among others.
The construction of SBC House, for the national radio and television, is one of the main projects being funded by the Chinese government in Seychelles. Others include the donation of $21.4 million in support of education-related projects, including the construction of a new technical-vocational school, and the construction of a housing project at Corgat Estate.