Seychelles President Mr. James A Michel left Seychelles yesterday on a working visit to the People’s Republic of China. This visit testifies to the strong relations of friendship and cooperation with China, which were established 35 years ago. It also signifies the President’s intent – at the beginning of his new mandate – to develop further and diversify the partnership between the two countries in a number of areas, not least in security, transport, tourism, and energy.
President Michel is accompanied on his visit by the Minister for Home Affairs, Environment, and Transport, Mr. Joel Morgan; senior government officials; as well as representatives of the tourism industry, aviation, and the Chamber of Commerce.
During this visit, the President is due to meet with the Chinese Vice President, Mr. XI Jinping, to assess the present state of bilateral relations and discuss new areas of future cooperation, both at the bilateral level and within the framework of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum. Other issues to be discussed include joint efforts in the fight against piracy, as well as cooperation initiatives in maritime security.
Separate meetings are planned with Minister Morgan and senior Chinese government officials representing the transport and energy sector to agree on a course of action for the establishment of air links between China and Seychelles, and the transfer of Chinese technology – more particularly, renewable energy – to Seychelles.
President Michel’s visit will also bring together the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) and the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) in joint tourism promotion efforts. Two agreements, which are to be signed, are expected to increase significantly the number of Chinese visitors to Seychelles.
Another highlight of the President’s visit to China is the launch of the Chinese version of his book, “Distant Horizons.” Over 200 invited guests, including government and business leaders, representatives of the media and the tourism trade, and some twenty Seychellois students in China have confirmed their attendance of this event, which is expected to significantly bolster Seychelles’ visibility in China.