Trade with Turkey on the rise - new Turkish ambassador to Seychelles encouraged with increasing ties
The Nairobi-based Turkish Ambassador to the Seychelles presented her credentials to Seychelles President James Michel on Tuesday morning (Office of the President)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The newly-accredited Turkish ambassador to Seychelles, Deniz Eke, has expressed her delight that trade between the two countries is improving.
The ambassador, who is based in Nairobi, arrived at State House on Tuesday morning in the Seychelles capital of Victoria to present her credentials to Seychelles President James Michel.
2015 marks the 20th year since the establishment of formal bilateral relations between Turkey and the Seychelles archipelago of 115 islands.
The Seychelles does not have a resident ambassador in Turkey, but has two Honorary Consuls; one in Ankara and one in Instanbul. The Seychelles Ambassador to France, Bernard Shamlaye, is accredited as the Seychelles ambassador to Turkey.
According to a press statement issued by State House on Tuesday afternoon, President Michel and Ambassador Eke discussed trade, people-to-people exchanges, the Blue Economy, tourism and aviation in their meeting after the accreditation ceremony.
|Ambassador Eke discussed issues pertaining to trade, the Blue Economy, tourism and aviation during their meeting (Office of the President) Photo license: CC-BY|
Speaking to members of the local media after the meeting, the ambassador said that during her meeting with President Michel, it was revealed that trade relations between the two countries were on the increase, and that it was not only Turkish imports to Seychelles which were increasing.
“Seychelles’ exports to Turkey is also increasing, especially the first half of this year was notable particularly in that sense, and our joint aim is to further encourage that trend and make it sustainable,” she said.
“We agreed that there is huge potential that can be tapped in terms of commercial relations and investments and to make that possible the only thing that we need to do is to encourage more businessmen to come to Seychelles and more Seychellois businessmen to go to Turkey and see with their own eyes the potential that both our countries possess,” she said.
“It will be our job in the future to organize frequent delegation visits at all levels, to bring our people closer and to make them aware of the potential that exists in our relations.”
Ambassador Eke also highlighted academic cooperation as a potential area for collaboration, hinting that Turkish universities might be working together with the University of Seychelles in the near future.
According to figures provided to SNA by the Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs, bilateral trade between Turkey and Seychelles amounted to around $8 million in 2014.
Imports to Seychelles from Turkey, which include food products such as sunflower seed oil, olive oil, lentils and pasta as well as metal products such as bars, rods and wires, amounted to 100.7 million Seychelles rupees or around $7.4 million in 2014, up from SCR53.8 million ($4 million) in 2013. Last year was also a good year in terms of exportation of canned tuna to Turkey, amounting to about SCR 5.6 million ($420,000).
From January to April 2015, so far SCR 38 million ($2.8 million) worth of goods have been imported to Seychelles from Turkey.
Last year, 403 Turkish residents visited the Seychelles islands, but for the first half of 2015, visitor arrivals have already reached 347, compared to 220 for the same period last year, indicating a sizable increase.