Seychelles' President discusses collaboration with newly accredited Filipino and Canadian diplomats
Marie Tang, the Philippines ambassador, was accredited on Tuesday. (Seychelles Nation)
The newly accredited Ambassador of the Philippines to Seychelles seeks to improve people-to-people relations between the two countries while the newly accredited High Commissioner of Canada eyes two-way trade and investment as areas to focus on.
Marie Tang, the Philippines ambassador, and Kyle Nunas, the Canadian high commissioner, spoke to the press about their areas of focus and discussions after presenting their credentials to Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan at State House on Tuesday.
Tang told reporters that "we hope to pick up where we left off during the pandemic. We also want to improve relations in all aspects whether this be people-to-people relations, economics, or in the multilateral scene - climate change, and the environment. There is also the level of consular services. As you know, we have around 400 Filipinos in Seychelles who contribute positively to the development of Seychelles."
She outlined that she will once more set into motion certain agreements that were otherwise put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"During the pandemic, because mobility was interrupted, certain agreements were put on hold and this included a labor agreement, and we are also working on a visa-free facility. Recently we presented a cultural agreement to Seychelles, which will provide an institutional framework for cooperation on the cultural and art scenes such as exchange of ideas, visits to museums," she explained.
Canada seeks two-way greater trade and investment
Nunas, the High Commissioner of Canada, said two-way trade and investment will be something that he would like to do during his mandate.
|Kyle Nunas, the Canadian high commissioner was also accredited on Tuesday. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY|
"I have my trade section visiting the country to explore opportunities with government contacts and the private sector to look at how we can increase our commercial relationship. The President and I discussed the fact that the commercial relationship is very small and we need to increase it," said Nunas.
Another area the Canadian high commissioner seeks to build upon is maritime security. He shared that some members of the Canadian Coast Guard are currently in the island nation offering capacity-building training as part of the U.S.-led Cutlass Express military exercise.
"It is a multinational exercise and it is part of our commitment to global partners to increase their capacity to combat crime including migrant smuggling," said Nunas.
Following their accreditation ceremonies, the two diplomats called on Seychelles' Vice President Ahmed Afif.
During her meeting with the Vice President, Tang reiterated the topics discussed with the President while Nunas spoke about Canada's strength in ICT.
"Our areas of interest are education, information, communications technology, and clean technologies. Canada has more than 40,000 excellent companies in space and cyber security, FinTech, telecommunications, and so on. We are keen to see if there is any fit between our technologies and what the needs are here," said Nunas.
Tang will be based in Nairobi, Kenya, and Nunas in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.