Groundbreaking cooperation agreement: Seychelles and South Africa

A cooperation agreement was recently signed that will open doors for the ease of doing business in the Seychelles for Randburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) of South Africa members as well as other members of chambers affiliated with the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

The RCCI of South Africa, which incorporates the Randburg, Sandton, and Midrand Business Community, is very proud to announce the receipt of the first of its kind in Republic of South Africa (RSA) – the officially signed cooperation agreement with the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).

“Our members will now be introduced to numerous business opportunities, including JVs [Joint Ventures] and PPPs [Public-Private Partnerships] within the Seychelles,” said Linda Blackbeard, RCCI’s CEO.

SCCI recently appointed a new President, Mr. Wilson Nancy, and according to Madam Juliette H Sicobo-Azaïs, the Secretary General of the SCCI, they signed this agreement at their first councilors’ meeting.

Representing RCCI, Tanya Volschenk, who recently visited the Seychelles, held meetings with the SCCI. She said: “It is clear that there are many business opportunities which can be explored and exchanged between the two countries. Seychelles imports almost everything; therefore, right now, with the current “weak” Rand, this lends itself to exporting such exciting and available opportunities. Moreover, Seychellois frequently visit South Africa where they purchase a variety of goods. There again a notable increase of incoming spend because of the weak Rand is apparent.”

RCCI is excited that tourism can now confidently be promoted both ways; especially after Air Seychelles increased its flights to and from South Africa to a daily flight schedule due to the high demand.

RCCI said: “From our preliminary discussions, it is apparent that Seychelles has identified specific projects which they would like to promote and for which Seychelles would welcome investors., i.e., JV partners and/or PPPs.

“Although Seychelles is considered to be very small, in African terms (less than 100,000 people), the impact of their tourists’ spending power, currently growing at 19% per annum, cannot be ignored.” Opportunities abound!

In terms of the cooperation agreement, there are no less than 8 identified areas of collaboration between the 2 chambers which can result in profitable business for their chambers’ members. Included is the Outbound Trade Missions – some of which the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) may sponsor local business by up to 75%, should they meet the required criteria.

“We have already opened communication channels for DTI’s assistance in this regard. We are currently working on our first trade mission with Seychelles planned towards the end of the year or very early next year. Judging by the success achieved by our chamber members’ participation in the Botswana trade show late last year, as well as other similar outbound trade missions attended by the members, this has resulted in successful business agreements, wealth, and job creation. Therefore, we are currently exploring such opportunities with the SCCI as well. Currently plans are in motion to organize a meeting with the new President of the SCCI to welcome him to South Africa soon,” said the RCCI CEO.

Networking and solid relationship building for effective connectivity opportunities for members is the cornerstone of what the RCCI does. The chamber has established similar relationships with other high-profile Southern African Development Community (SADC) region officials. They too have secure and solid agreements in place with RCCI. RCCI keeps on spreading its wings to reach further and further afield for its members.

Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .